Moon Causes Monthly Atmospheric Tides

Full Moon

Full Moon

[ This is a glorious picture of the moon and you really ought to take a moment to click on it and look at the detail in the large size. ]

Original Image

The Moon Changes Our Length Of Day, and Weather

Sometimes you run into interesting things in the oddest way. In the article about a cold Canada, a comment pointed me at an alternative interesting weather forecasting site. (h/t P.G. Sharrow) In looking at their technology page, I saw a write up of an article about the moon causing atmospheric tides, but based on the declination cycle. WIth periods of 27.3 days and 13.6 days.

But the mechanism was what caught my eye. Change of the earth’s length of day. And the assertion that this impacts weather and forecasting. In the first quake posting I’d done was a link to a paper by Ian Wilson that showed a solar influence on LOD causing the PDO to slop around.

So the pattern here is starting to shape up that the orbital mechanics of the solar system change our Length Of Day and our weather. Hmmmm….

The author does suggest that the weather models ought to be updated to include this; and that would be a great idea if we could only convince the modelers that the science wasn’t quite settled when they wrote the models.

And all that LOD changing would also induce crustal stresses and so could explain some of the earthquake patterns (my speculation). Speculating even further, if we have a mechanism that lets orbiting bodies stir the liquids and gasses on earth at different periods and change the LOD, might not the same mechanism let the planets act on the Sun? Changing the pressure on a fusion reaction ought to change the reaction rate, and tides lift our air by 30 meters (per the article), could not something similar happen to the sun via Jovian declination? And perhaps with the same mathematical analysis possible?

So that is where the speculation lead me. Now for the links.

The link to the paper in the article was a dead link, as were a couple of others turned up by Google. I did find what looks like an earlier pre-release working copy on a live link (downloaded and saved, sample pages made from the PDF as PNG below). Harvard had a live link, but to ‘Springerlink’ and wanting money…

So first, where did I run into this? At:

Third article down as I type, but will likely change over time. Titled “Declination studies reveal significant influences on climate in the formation of air tides.”

Parent Site Link:

Version that I could download here:

Found with a GOOGLE search using the key

“27.3 and 13.6 day atmospheric tide and lunar forcing on atmospheric circulation Guoqing”

but without the quotes.

Harvard Link with download link in the bottom:

The Springerlink page they send you to:

where the preview page looks like it got cleaned up a little from the earlier version in format, but they cut back on the resolution some. Click for a larger size:

Lunar Atmospheric Tide Page Preview

Lunar Atmospheric Tide Page Preview

And just because it clearly had been freely available and is now stuck behind a paywall, here are the “conclusions” pages from the earlier version. (Yes, I turned the PDF into individual PNG files for the pages… don’t ask… unless you want to know how to do it…) As usual, larger sized by clicking. Fair Warning: It’s a really large very high resolution page of about 1.5 MB each… Yeah, I had an ‘attitude moment’ ;-) I was tempted to make the postscript of it and post it typesetter ready… but decided that would be ‘over the top’…

Lunar Air Tides Page 14

Lunar Air Tides Page 14

Lunar Air Tides Page 15

Lunar Air Tides Page 15

Lunar Air Tides Page 16

Lunar Air Tides Page 16

Lunar Air Tides Page 17

Lunar Air Tides Page 17

I just figured that given all the grief they put in front of getting a look at the paper I ought to save y’all the trouble… (NEVER annoy the geek ;-) it’s a BAaaaad idea…)


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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16 Responses to Moon Causes Monthly Atmospheric Tides

  1. kuhnkat says:

    Piers Corbyn appears to do a rather good job of analyzing sun and moon metrics to forecast earth weather. Don’t know if they have extended it to Jovian planetary effects on the sun.

  2. xyzlatin says:

    As someone who lives by the sea and sees the huge variation in water height of the tides, I have been waiting for someone to mention this. We have this large body pulling on us daily – the moon – which moves huge masses of water around, and no one seems to configure it into any calculations of weather at all! Congratulations.
    By the way o/t but have you noticed grey skies everywhere in documentaries filmed all over the world? Here we have had for months and months, not what I call “proper” clouds, but this grey haze of clouds, and lots and lots of rain (Hervey Bay Qld Australia). Qld having its wettest September ever (on record 100 years or so), so they tell us.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    I first noticed a ‘high flat haze’ when the sun when quiet. Now we’re up to dense overcast. Yeah, the Revenge Of The Clouds has begun.

    I have the Redhead Gene and can’t do more that 20 minutes at high noon without a sunburn. No sunscreen at all this year and not even a deep rich manila (though I am practicing ‘shade monster’ habits as they are built in…)

    I’m pretty sure the rain is from the oceans dumping their heat via evaporation into the (now thinner) atmosphere, which promptly dumps it to space as the water condenses into rain.

    I think you ought to be able to use annual total rainfall as a direct measure of heat loss from the planet…

  4. RuhRoh says:

    For awhile when I had a ‘scientific staff’, I tended to refer to ‘phase of the moon’ as a disparaging shorthand for irreproducible results emerging from ‘voodoo’ measurement setups.

    Afterwards, my usage evolved into a more nuanced meaning, implying a sufficiently sensitive measurement apparatus which was capable of detecting the subtle influence of lunar wax/wane (and the rate of the A/C limit cycle, etc.) …

    So, this morning I am wondering about the convergence of two threads; this one from the aerology guy {who probably is onto something but has been on it too long}, and the earthquake movie thread. Is there a connection between the tidal cycle and the timing of earthquakes?
    (that big fishtank on cannery row has a nice machine with many big gears to predict the tides, i think)…

    I guess the geo community probably doesn’t have the big databases of earthquake lat/lon/time similar to GHCN, ?

    Same issue of getting total annual rainfall, where’s the database?

    Anyway, more fun later…

  5. P.G. Sharrow says:

    If you wish to continue this line of inquiry, the “Tallbloke” site:
    has a number of threads that are followed by people, including Richard Hollis, that go into greater depth of thought in this field. pg

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    The precipitation data are part of the GHCN, so the Version 2 is available here:

    with the files v2.prcp.Z as the basic data and v2.prcp_adj.Z as the obligatory “adjusted” version…

    And yes, there are some geologists who use moon phase to predict quakes. The links are in my first quake posting:

    along with a pretty good discussion of how it might work.

    This link is about the sun / Earth LOD impact (and impact on PDO)

    I’ve reproduced here one of the comments to save folks searching:

    There has been a record of earthquakes predicted by tidal forces:

    and you will notice that I do cite the tidal forces (mostly from the moon). The idea that angular momentum changes figure in is more speculative, but with some correlation data behind it (and oblateness / crustal flex would add to tidal forces). BTW, as the earth passes from apogee to perigee we, too, have a spin rate couple to our orbit, it isn’t just tidal forces… I’ve been getting my head wrapped around the spin-orbit coupling physics; it’s not just for sub-atomic particles.

    And most of what I’m doing in this page is just seeing the activity on the fault that goes near my home (from the USGS map) and knowing that pre-shocks DO happen, taking my normal precautions (it helped a great deal when I came through the 7.1 Loma Prieta with only 1 wine glass broken – fell off the fireplace mantel…).

    The guy who started the tidal force prediction was a county geologist. His site is:

    And here is an interesting interview with him:

    Not all parts of the planet have the same tidal forces. Not all faults have the same history of stress buildup.

    Those with the most pent up stress (longest time since last release) are the ones with “the trigger set”, peak tides with the moon at perigee are the strongest trigger, but don’t set off all faults at once. Only the ones that are more or less ready anyway.

    @P.G. Sharrow: Are you talking about the Moon / LOD / Weather being on Tallbloke or the ‘hazy sky’? Or both?

  7. That was discovered more than a lot of thousand years ago, but now another kind of Moon (a.k.a.:Ban Ki ) blame us for climate change saying that it is caused by our cyclical contaminating process of exhaling CO2 from our lungs. :-)

  8. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, is covered with a shell of ice at -160 C. Fracture lines in the ice indicate that the moon changes shape as it is squeezed and stretched by the huge gravitational forces of Jupiter. However, the lines are skewed compared with the expected orientation, suggesting that there is a shell of liquid water under the ice. It is thought that the internal mechanical movement of the solid core generates enough heat to create the liquid layer.

    This reminds me of our sun with the dislocation in rotation between the surface plasma and inner core and the distortion of the magnetic field and resulting sunspots. The gravity of the sun is huge but it is balanced by the planets, so the sun is affected too.

    Jupiter has another moon, Io, which is covered with active volcanoes and maybe earthquakes, probably due to the continual flexing of its crust.

    I am convinced that the earth is affected by the sun and the planets in a similar way and I like your description of the atmosphere (which is just a shell of fluid) being stirred up by the changing gravitational fields. This means that our climate could be affected directly by these forces as well as through solar cycles. If we add together all the interactions of planetary and maybe galactic interactions it could explain the mixture of cyclic and random events that we call climate.

  9. @Schrodinger’s Cat

    The thunderbolt nature of Jupiter was confirmed when it was found that it provokes volcanic activity on its satellite Io, with a power of more than three million amperes.
    Io acts as an electrical generator as it moves through Jupiter’s magnetic field, developing 400,000 volts across its diameter and generating an electric current of 3 million amperes that flows along the magnetic field to the planet’s ionosphere.
    If only the gravity force would be considered effects would be minuscule. This view is obsolete, it is now recognized, after Velikovsky and the Electric Universe or Plasma Universe theory that electromagnetic fields ar at work here.
    and about tides:

  10. tckev says:

    Another interesting cyclic phenomenon is the 5-day wave in the Arctic and Antarctic mesosphere and lower thermosphere.

    I was listening to a BBC program ‘So You Want to Be a Scientist’ recently where an amateur scientist, John Rowlands, investigated the variability of noctilucent cloud cover. These clouds vary in concert with the 5 day cycle. I think I’m right in recalling that the outcome was that these clouds appeared to be very dependent on solar variations and he also pointed out in the final of this program, there is very little (none planned) research of this phenomenon.

    IMHO they may well give indication as to where the climate is heading and probably how fast.


  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    ChiefIO; as near as I can determine the “tallbloke” site is primarily an investigation and attempt to generate a theory in the round as to the causes and effects of the total solar system on planetary and solar weather. And possiably an unified field theory to go with it. The Tallbloke “Rog” runs a friendly “PUB” for the above discussions. pg

  12. Cold Lynx says:

    There is a correlation between the lunar nodal tides and the ocean temperature variability.

  13. Ulric Lyons says:

    So the Lunar declination cycle produces tidal effects in the atmosphere but not in the oceans ?

    The effect being described here actually is Lunar modulation of the Solar wind, it has nothing to do with tidal forces on the atmosphere.

  14. Ninderthana says:

    If only you knew how wrong you are Ulric!

  15. Ulric Lyons says:

    Ninderthana (10:51:48)
    “If only you knew how wrong you are Ulric!”

    No I do actually. The big 13.6 and 27.25d atmospheric movements are due to the solar rotation period, and are a heating issue. Lunar gravitational tidal effects on the atmosphere give a very small 24hr 50m cycle, modulated by a much smaller cycle peaking at full and new Moon, the 29.5306d lunation period, as in Ocean tides. Why should Lunar atmospheric tides change by the declination cycle, but the Oceans by the lunation cycle ?

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