Why Weather has a 60 year Lunar beat

We’ve already seen that there are very long term lunar cycles that sure look like they drive the weather changes on 1800 year (and longer) cycles. Even with shorter “spikes” on the graph of particular pulses of tidal forces. (All stirred by the planets and orbital resonance that keeps things in sync, so the Sun, too, has participation in some of the cycles, like the 179 ish year one).

Lunar Tidal Force Cycles

Lunar Tidal Force Cycles

But at the short end, lunar cycles tend to things like a 29.5 day lunar month, and the 19 year Metonic Cycle. Hardly the stuff of 60 year PDO / AMO cycles.

The eclipse calendar tends to be set by the Saros Cycle that’s a bit over 18 years.

http://www.myastrologybook.com/Saros-cycle-of-moon-lunar-saros.htm

Fortunately for early astronomers lunar and solar eclipses repeat every 18 years 11 days and 8 hours in a “Saros” cycle.

That bit about eclipses matters. That is when the moon is crossing the ecliptic. Other than that time, it is above or below the ecliptic and pulling water more north or south.

For comparison, the Metonic Cycle (per the wiki) is more about getting the lunar months (13 of them) and the solar months (12) to sync up every so often:

For astronomy and calendar studies, the Metonic cycle or Enneadecaeteris (from Ancient Greek: εννεαδεκαετηρις, “nineteen years”) is a period of very close to 19 years which is remarkable for being nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic (lunar) month. The Greek astronomer Meton of Athens (fifth century BC) observed that a period of 19 years is almost exactly equal to 235 synodic months, and rounded to full days counts 6940 days. The difference between the two periods (of 19 years and 235 synodic months) is only a few hours, depending on the definition of the year.

Having your ‘count’ match up again isn’t quite as important to tidal forces as is what end / side of the earth you are tugging upon.

Jumping To A Conclusion

I sent some fair amount of time looking at Metonic cycles (btw, I think that’s the wrong place to look), the 19 counter holes at Stonehenge, pondering Celtic Calendars and Druid Festivals ( just sent in a thesis for a Master of Druidism, BTW, so with luck, I can soon be called ‘Master Druid’ or maybe M.o.D. ;-)

That Saros cycle is the one that has the moon vs earth and sun as the basis.

So, OK, why not an 18.x cycle then? Why a 60 year cycle?

Well, first off, in another discussion we saw that it’s really a ‘sort of a 60′ and has a significant ‘near 55-59′ component. It is something of a ‘quasi cycle’ at that. And the ‘typical’ period is averaging shorter than 60 years.

The obvious thing to do is divide by 3. (Or multiply by 3 going the other way). That gives about 54 years. Still, sometimes you get a cycle split between things, like an intercalary month in lunar / solar calendars.

But why 3? That damn number keeps coming around. From the Druids (who memorized things in threes a lot) to Tesla who as fixated on it and only slept in rooms with 3s in the number).

I looked more closely at the definition of the Saros Cycle.

Note also that the saros (18.03 years) is not equal to an integer number of revolutions of the Moon with respect to the fixed stars (sidereal month of 27.32 days). Therefore, even though the relative geometry of the Earth-Sun-Moon system will be nearly identical after a saros, the Moon will be in a different position with respect to the stars. This is due to the fact that the orbit of the Moon precesses.

A complication with the saros is that its period is not an integer number of days, but contains a multiple of ⅓ of a day. Thus, as a result of the Earth’s rotation, for each successive saros, an eclipse will occur about 8 hours later in the day. In the case of an eclipse of the Sun, this means that the region of visibility will shift westward by 120°, or one third of the way around the globe, and the two eclipses will thus not be visible from the same place on Earth.
[...]
Because of the ⅓ fraction of days in a saros, the visibility of each eclipse will differ for an observer at a given locale. For the lunar saros series 131, the first total eclipse of 1950 had its best visibility for viewers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East because mid-eclipse was at 20:44 UT. The following eclipse in the series occurred approximately 8 hours later in the day with mid-eclipse at 4:47 UT, and was best seen from North America and South America. The third total eclipse occurred approximately 8 hours later in the day than the second eclipse with mid-eclipse at 12:43 UT, and had its best visibility for viewers in the Western Pacific, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. This cycle of visibility repeats from the initiation to termination of the series, with minor variations.

That tiny little hard to read fraction is 1/3 or 8 hours of rotation.

That’s why it takes 3 of them for a full cycle. Having a large tidal pull on the bottom of the Atlantic does not do the same thing as a large tidal pull on the bottom of the Pacific. It takes 3 cycles to get back to the same place (more or less).

That’s why it’s a (roughly) 3 Saros cycle pattern and likely why the AMO swaps out of sync with the PDO. Tug one, wait for the bulge to move one ocean over, tug again…

Other Notes

There are other, longer term orbital movements that cause the whole “Saros Series” to take even longer to fully repeat. During that time, each 18.x and 60 ish year “cycle” will be slightly different from the ones before and after. In those kinds of circumstances, you tend to get ‘quasi cycles’ and I’d not be at all surprised to find an intercalary 18 or 9 years on one vs another PDO swap. If things get a bit out of sync (and that is not an exact 1/3 …) there will be the occasional intercalary event as the two moving cycles establish a new ‘sync’ point. Perhaps even the occasional ‘skip beat’.

On the longer term, the exact alignment of the moon and earth has the moon drifting more north and more south on a very long cycle. That will slop water more north and more south (and influence things like the Circumpolar Current depth and the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap11/ant_wave.html that runs in about a 1/2 Saros cycle.

So there are opportunities for many interactions with land forms and ocean bottoms, winds and atmospheric tides too.

It takes between 1226 and 1550 years for the members of a saros series to traverse the Earth’s surface from north to south (or vice-versa). These extremes allow from 69 to 87 eclipses in each series (most series have 71 or 72 eclipses). From 39 to 59 (mostly about 43) eclipses in a given series will be central (that is, total, annular, or hybrid annular-total). At any given time, approximately 40 different saros series will be in progress.

I find those two numbers fascinating. First off, we’ve got a number rather close to Bond Events. 1470 +/- a couple of hundred and often stated as 1500 years. So at one end of the longer Saros Series length. With an error band of about the distance to the other end of Saros Series length. Then we’ve seen various “about a 1000 years” patterns in weather history and human history from that. Very near the other shorter end of the Saros Series.

It don’t think it that big a ‘leap’ to think that when at an extreme end of the lunar excursion, and it swaps back the other way, there might be an extraordinary “slop” in the oceans trying to follow it. Perhaps even enough to disrupt where the Gulf Stream plunges down off Greenland, or where ice shelves suddenly lift and crack off (many of the long cycle events are measured by ‘ice rafted debris’).

The precession of the lunar orbit takes 18.6 years, so only when the precession aligns with the Saros cycle at an extreme tide will we get maximum tides.

http://www.umass.edu/sunwheel/pages/moonteaching.html

With the culmination of the 18.6-year cycle of the Moon in 2006 and again in 2024-25, also called the Major Lunar Standstill, we are afforded the unique opportunity to observe the monthly, annual, and 18.6-year wanderings of the Moon. The 18.6-year cycle is caused by the precession of the plane of the lunar orbit, while this orbit maintains a 5° tilt relative to the ecliptic. At the peak of this cycle, the Moon’s declination swings from -28.8° to +28.8° each month. What this means is that each month for the years 2005-2007 and also 2023-2026, the Moon can be seen rising and setting more northerly and also more southerly than the solar extremes, and will transit monthly with altitudes which are higher in the sky than the summer Sun and lower in the sky than the winter Sun.

It is when that 18.6 year precession cycle lines up just right with the solar alignment 18.03 year Saros Eclipse cycle state (i.e. maximum lunar declination changes and maximum lunar / solar tidal forces aligned) that we ought to get major effects and events.

This is the Greenland Gisp2 record:

Greenland Gisp 2 Temperature Record

Greenland Gisp 2 Temperature Record

Original Image

Most of the time we’ve seen this, I’ve pointed out the down dips and collapses of civilizations. Instead, look at the peaks this time. Starting from the deep past at the far right.

10,000 BP rise out of the snowy muck.
9,000 BP a nice high peak.
7800 BP another peak (about 1200 years offset from prior peak).
6900 BP another peak
5000 to 6000 BP as a similar ‘multi-peak’ look to 9000-10000 but flatter due to no longer rushing out of a glacial. Still, it has small relative peaks on the 5000 and 6000 points.
4200 BP nice peak, about 1000 years away from the early side of the broad peak near 5000-5200 BP
3250 BP Peak
2100 BP Peak (about 1100 years from prior)
1000 BP Peak (about 1100 years from prior)
0 BP Peaking at present (though in the context of ‘lower highs’ as we past peak temps about 3500 or 8000 years ago).

There’s clearly some “other stuff” going on too. Like that “swoon” between 4000 and 6000 BP. So some longer cycles and other events need inspection (like, perhaps, that 5000 year lunar cycle as it aligns with other orbital shifts seen in the earlier paper). Still, to my eye, there looks to be an ‘about 1000+ year’ warm spike. Sub-multiple of 3000 years (or 2 x that 1500 year cycle) or perhaps just a couple of hundred years error in the ice off of that 1226 year cycle. I don’t know the error bans on the GISP2 core.

It is also possible that other things, forces, cycles modify the basic Saros “long count” and / or provide ‘skip beat’ modifications.

Still, at a ‘first cut’, it looks to me like there is plenty of room for a “long count” Saros Series causality on the major warm peaks, and a “short count” Saros Cycles on the PDO / AMO “near 60 year” cycles. I’d even go so far as to say that slopping loads of ocean back and forth has a better chance of explaining small Length Of Day variations than all that stuff and nonsense about winds and all. Just not enough mass in the air. But move some North Pacific water to the Equator, now you have something to work with.

It would be good to get real numbers with real error bands on all of it. From Saros series of cycles exact dates to Gisp2 exact dates with error bands. Match up with the known PDO / AMO / AO / Circumpolar wave / etc. dates and tide charts. Fit the whole jigsaw machine together in computer animation / simulation and see what happens.

Anyone got a few $Million NGO Grant to spare? Doing this on a laptop in my living room is getting old ;-)

(Then again, I get the feeling I’m finding more useful things than ‘the other guys’ at government funded labs; in part as I’m not dealing with any “overhead” people or organization…)

In Conclusion

I think it is the case that the reason the PDO/ AMO swaps on a quasi-3-Saros basis is that it takes 3 periods for the lunar tidal forces to be back over the same ocean at the same point in the Saros cycle. I think it likely that other resonances with lunar tidal cycles will be found. The Antarctic Circumpolar Wave looks to be running on about 1/2 a Saros frequency.

It looks likely that recognition of lunar tidal cycles longer than “the month” is an important thing to weather and ocean changes. Depth, mixing, current, precipitation; all those and more can be shifted, shaped, and modified by tidal force.

This graphic is an animation (if it works right ;-) that shows how the point of the eclipse moves over the earth during a Saros series. That is also the point in direct alignment with the moon and sun, so ought to have the most direct tidal force. Various eclipses in each cycle and series. It is the net-net of all those wandering forces that stirs the world oceans.

Animation of Saros Cycle 136 showing location of the eclipse path on the earth surface

Animation of Saros Cycle 136 showing location of the eclipse path on the earth surface

Original Image

Notice that this runs about 1200 years from one end of the earth to the other. Each Saros cycle 18.03 years, and the Series taking that 1226 years before repeating.

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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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26 Responses to Why Weather has a 60 year Lunar beat

  1. adrianvance says:

    Moon and Earth rotate around a common center of gravity that varies our distance from the sun by perhaps 20,000 miles which it insignificant in our 93 million distance, but there may be some other effect…

    Come see us at the Two Minute Conservative at: http://adrianvance.blogspot.com and when you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @AddrianVance:

    In space, distance isn’t very important, but angles are very important… Still, a 20,000 variation depending on when it shows, could have some effect. But it ought to match moon toward sun vs moon away from sun cycle, that is, the eclipse times… so we’re back at Saros cycle…

    The cause vs the symptom. Saros vs solar distance…

    So I’d expect that distance term to only show up in the ‘small noise’ part of the temperature data.

  3. John Robertson says:

    Out of the chaos of govt agenda driven climate propaganda ,new science will be emerge as a human reaction.
    I have only skimmed this, but as its rotational, what if you use Pi instead of 3?.
    I sense you are teasing something out of the noise here, time will tell, but its a nice correlation with the ocean cycles, with time for thermal effects to happen.
    I have a copy of Chaos, by James Gleik, beside the computer, time to read it again, fractals ?
    Does the movement of warm water in the oceans show a recurring pattern?
    Do the mixing waters and tidal effects have beauty?
    Sorry , the shape of the question eludes me, its late and past bedtime.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Another great post E.M.
    Highly relevant to the post Tim Channon put up in the early hours today as well.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/met-office-hadcrut-4-solar-linkage/
    Thanks for this additional confirmation of a sixty year cycle linked to celestial motion. I’ll reblog it.
    Harald Yndestad found a 74 year lunar component in north atlantic temperature too.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/the-moon-is-linked-to-long-term-atlantic-changes/

  5. Bloke down the pub says:

    If only the Romans hadn’t gone around killing the druids, science might be two thousand years further advanced.

  6. Crashex says:

    Some new scrabble words….and an interesting reference regarding a nearly 30 year cycle to opposite sides of the equator.

    “4.6 Saros and Inex
    A number of different eclipse cycles were investigated by van den Bergh, but the most useful were the Saros and the Inex.
    The Inex is equal to 358 synodic months (~29 years less 20 days), which is very nearly 388.5 draconic months.
    358 Synodic Months = 10,571.9509 days = 10,571d 22h 49m
    388.5 Draconic Months = 10,571.9479 days = 10,571d 22h 55m
    The extra 0.5 in the number of draconic months means that eclipses separated by one Inex period occur at opposite
    nodes. Consequently, an eclipse visible from the Northern Hemisphere will be followed one Inex later by an eclipse
    visible from the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.”

    excerpt from: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCSE/5MCSE-Text.pdf
    A Five Milliennium Canon of Solar Eclipse, Espanek and Meesus

  7. AndrewS says:

    I’m sure glad it’s not the Soros cycle. ;)

  8. The shorter term Saros cycle length of just the 18.03 year length has a better global atmosphere tidal signal in tornado production than the Metonic or 18.6 year declinational cycle alone. There are many tidal patterns that repeat characteristically for reasons due to local topography, as the lunar declinational culmination extent varies on the 18.6 year period.

    To see expandable graphs of the history of tornado production in the USA, by date, then by lunar declination, then sorted by Metonic, Saros, and a cycle of 6558 days that is just one 27.32 day declinational cycle less than the Saros cycle length to show which of the three patterns give the most repeatability, click this link:
    http://research.aerology.com/lunar-declinational-affects-on-tornado-production/
    Long lead forecasts using this 6558 day long period from the past four cycles averaged together for the basic weather parameters, can be viewed on the map pages at:
    http://www.aerology.com

    More examples of the local effects and related research by my self and others with related blog excerpts with topics of interest can be found in the research pages.

  9. sabretoothed says:

    What about volcanoes is there a link as well? I think man is a bit egocentric. First man thought he was in the centre of the universe, with the sun and universe going around him. Now man worked that part out, but thinks that the earth is this separate entity. Because we can’t see the cosmic rays and other forces being applied to the earth, we keep thinking we are causing everything we see and that the earth’s weather has no connection to the universe. When the earth is part of the universe and every bit of energy that hits the earth has some effect on us. So ignoring all the global warming on the rest of the planets of the solar system and thinking that we are causing the earth to change (when you fly you see how big it is!!!) we are acting like 4th century people thinking we are the centre of the universe and nothing else matters but us.

  10. crosspatch says:

    While I will buy that there is a lunar influence, I don’t believe it is all that great. It is like a small signal riding on a DC bias. I believe there are other things that move that bias on which that lunar signal rides and can often completely swamp that impact. Volcanism, possibly solar influences, how dusty the environment that the solar system is flying through, changes in insolation due to orbital mechanics and various wobbles of the planet about its axis, plate tectonics, etc. Those lunar cycles were the same prior to the Holocene and they will be there after we dip into the next ice age. They will have an impact but I believe not all that great of an impact.

  11. Andrew Douglas says:

    Connection with Kondratieff cycles?

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  13. Yes a small but persistent and predictable effect. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good handle on how the lunar tidal effects add to the mix so we could then deduce what the rest of the long and short term effects outer planetary interactions, and their SSB effects upon the solar activity levels have , that modulate the inner planet and lunar effects due to the Saros cycle of their harmonic repeatability.

    Then we could sort different drivers by their relative power and timing effects to use as predictive algorithms, to build better long term forecast models based on quantified effects from many of the drivers rather than just CO2 and aerosols.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Richard Holle:…..and EM field exchanges among planets, not forgetting the twelve stator fields around.

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  17. Ulric Lyons says:

    There is a good harmony with the anomalistic month too at ~55.804yrs:
    749 draconic months, 746 sidereal months, and 740 anomalistic months.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ulric Lyons:

    There is a ‘loose end’ in that several of the potential lunar cycles are inside the error bands of the available data on things like PDO changes. There is also a complicate relationship shift from equator to poles ( it looks like a 3 x beat at the equator and a 4 x beat at the poles and then those might beat against each other. Likely as the equator is driven by ‘same ocean under moon’ and the poles by “moon north vs south”. So on my ‘to do’ list is to try and detangle all those subtleties…some day…. ;-)

    @Adolfo:

    The problem is shortage of data. Only recently have the large “connection” events been documented to exist between sun and earth. We just don’t have the data needed to characterize the what and when, and forget the ‘how big’… FWIW, I think it clear that the “Ozone Holes” (and higher spots) at the poles are clearly landing pads for Birkeland Currents (or similar). So we need to sort that out first too.

    @Richard Holle:

    The “pnas paper” states that the tidal mixing from lunar tides is greater than that from wind forces. So maybe not so small…

    I also gloss over the solar involvement, but in fact the tidal cycle is a product of the moon AND the sun. One other open issue is just that if lunar tidal effects can stir our oceans enough to change weather on clear 60 year and 1800 year cycles, might not Jupiter / Saturn do something similar to solar “weather”?….

    What is clear is that any weather / climate prediction model that leaves out the lunar tidal cycles will be wrong.

    @Andrew Douglass:

    Hmmmm…. You might have something there. Need to line up his cycles with the lunar / tidal states. As weather influences lots of things, not the least of which is rate of crop production and insurance losses, it could easily show as a long cycle of investment / cultural / war patterns…

    the two cycles are of about the same length, on first look…

    @Crosspatch:

    It’s a question of “time scale”. On the 100,000 year scale, orbital changes in the earth dominate total insolation patterns so we get periodic ice age glacials and interglacials. Changes of the interstellar dust field happen on similar or even longer time scales.

    On a 25,000 year scale, the obliquity cycle starts to have shorter term impacts. So there is a 23,000 (or so) year ‘cycle’ showing up in the lunar tidal changes as the tilt of the earth shifts. Since obliquity changes both the lunar tidal effects and the Milankovich cycle effects, it is intermediate between the time scales.

    Once down at 5000, 1800 – 1220, and 60 year time scales, things like precession of the axis, eccentricity and obliquity are just not doing much. A 100,000 year eccentricity cycle or a 25,000 year axial precession just doesn’t do much in 60 years. (Precession of the apsides interacts with precession of the axis so that it makes a net 21,000 year or so net precession).

    At these shorter ranges, the Saros Cycle very closely matches the shifts over time scales of 56 years (as 3 x Saros Cycles) at the equator and the 74 year polar cycles ( as 4 x Saros Cycles). Saros Cycles come in a series of variable length, between 1220 and 1800 years. Just what we see in Bond Events and D.O. Events timing. A 1470 (or sometimes said as 1500) year “cycle” but with variation about that mean.

    So yes, these cycles were present before the Holocene and will be present after. That’s sort of the point… D.O. Events are the same cycle seen in times of a glacial while Bond Events are what happen during interglacials… but the metronome keeps the same beat… And that argues very strongly for orbital mechanics drivers of short time scale ( short being 1200-1800 years) which is just what we see in lunar tidal cycles.

    So yes, the long glacial / interglacial changes are driven by “other orbital mechanics” than the moon cycle. Eccentricity, obliquity, precession. But that does not mean the shorter time scale events are driven by those things, nor does it mean the shorter time scale events can not be driven by other orbital mechanics drivers. In particular, lunar tides.

    Unfortunately, due to “orbital resonance”, many things in orbit change in exact sync with each other. So, for example, Jupiter perturbs both the orbit of the Sun (barycenter effects) and the orbits of the earth and moon (primary driver of changes of eccentricity for example). So in many cases “they all come together when they come”. Arguing over “A but NOT B” is kind of silly in that context. It is really “A AND B both”… But one of the “big issues” with the solar barycenter argument has been the low level of change in solar output. Lunar tidal is a clear “big enough” effect while arriving on top of the solar changes. (There is a matching 178 or so cycle in both). So arguing that “one isn’t big enough” is falling into the “A NOT B” trap. None of them will be “big enough” as they all come together when they come. “A AND B”…

    Plate Techtonics runs on a Millions Of Years time scale, so only matters to why whole Ice Ages begin and end (we are in an Ice Age right now, that has had several Glacials over the last million years) so not important in explaining the 5000 year scale cycles.

    @Crosspatch & Sabertoothed:

    Volcanoes are more complicated. There is some evidence that they cycle with the lunar tidal cycle as well. This is “reasonable” as magma is a liquid and so will have tides in it. But any single volcano is a point event that is typically of a year or three duration of impact. Not something that shows up in 1500 year cycles. Or even 60 year cycles. But there is very likely a lunar tidal signature on rates of volcanism in total over those longer time scales. Again, that “A AND B” issue… so holding up volcanoes as a reason why lunar / tidal forces are not important is, IMHO, again falling into the “A NOT B” trap. I just didn’t put the volcanic connection into this posting as it is less fully supported and I didn’t have the time to gather all that there is supporting it into this posting. So it will go into a future posting.

    So please consider looking at each effect and at what “time scale” it works, sorting them by that time scale, and then seeing what can really make a 56-60 year cycle in the weather…

    @Richard Holle:

    Thanks! Always nice to see someone else found the same thing. (Even if they did find it before me and I re-ploughed the same field ;-)

    @AJB:

    Nope. Had not seen that. Nice catch.

    @AndrewS:

    You have no idea how paranoid I’ve been in typing this trying NOT to make that typo… ;-)

    @John Robertson:

    Pi doesn’t matter as it isn’t a radius vs circumference issue. 3 matters as that is the 8 hour difference that brings the same chunk of ocean under the moon every third cycle.

    Yes, ocean movement has recurring patterns (with variation). Yes, it has beauty. Look at the Antarctic and the Circumpolar Wave. Looks to me like a direct result of just this influence. A wave running around the south pole at about 1/2 a Saros Cycle…

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    We’re not all dead! ( I just got my “Master of Druidry” credential ;-)

    Just needing to redo some of the earlier work, that’s all ;-)

    @TallBloke:

    Nice on that 74 year cycle. Nice articles. Folks ought to read them… (Hint Hint…)

    That one on the 74 years got me thinking about distribution relative to the equator. I suspect that the N/S excursions have a “power of 2″ harmonic as it IS just 2 states N and S; so the poles get 2 x and 4 x Saros patterns. The equator has the moon wobble each side, but over different oceans until the 3 x cycle repeat. This implies a fairly complex overall interaction as those 3 x and 4 x cycles might well ‘beat’ against each other. That could well explain some of the longer cycles seen. 2 x 74 + 56 = 204 years, and we’ve sometimes seen ’200 and a bit’ periods showing up in some cycle data. Just as one hypothetical that jumps out.

    Then there is the way that solar effects will arrive on the same schedule due to orbital resonance so GCR / Svensmark and UV modulation will be additive too. (“A and B and C”…)

    @Crashex:

    Oh Boy, more Scrabble words! “Inex” who knew? ;-)

    Looks like an interesting resource… now to just integrate it all and pull out the exact interactions (that might also change over time and lunar positions N/S and with shifting obliquity and eccentricity and… )

    I think I’ll be at this a while ;-)

  19. Alex says:

    I always wondered why Tesla developed the 3-phase alternator, not 4, or 5 or whatever. You say that he was fixated with the number 3. What was in the number 3 for Tesla? I wonder.

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @Alex:

    The reason for 3 phase, and not more, is that you have captured all the efficiency by then. All three conductors are carrying power relative to each other and you can’t get more than “all”… Single phase has ‘dead spots’ in the cycle and power is flowing out one wire, but then just back in the other, so only 1/2 the power / wire. More phases doesn’t fix what’s already fixed with 3.

    At to why Tesla was fixated on 3: Near as I can tell, nobody knows and he took that with him to his grave. So guessing is a waste of time and breath. Could be anything from fixation-insanity to genius insight that mere mortals like us will never be able to guess. I like lavender / magenta / purple. Why? Well, you can spend a long time guessing and never get it. (As even I don’t know…)

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  23. Steve Keohane says:

    Thanks E.M., very compelling. Re: volcanoes and lunar connection, isn’t there an actual tide in the crust on the order of 16″ or so depending on thickness and composition? The intersection of the moon+sun overhead an area with minor activity on-going might be cause for triggering volcano activity.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve Keohane:

    Don’t forget that below the crust is a soft / liquid layer. Don’t know the total displacement off hand, but it is large. I think it is more than that 16″ (but we don’t notice as it all moves together…)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_tide

    says it is less than one meter in the head text, but has 55 cm down in the body:

    Earth tide effects

    Volcanologists use the regular, predictable Earth tide movements to calibrate and test sensitive volcano deformation monitoring instruments. The tides may also trigger volcanic events. Seismologists have determined that microseismic events are correlated to tidal variations in Central Asia (north of the Himalayas). The semidiurnal amplitude of terrestrial tides can reach about 55 cm at the equator which is important in GPS calibration and VLBI measurements. Also to make precise astronomical angular measurements requires knowledge of the Earth’s rate of rotation and nutation, both of which are influenced by earth tides. Terrestrial tides also need to be taken in account in the case of some particle physics experiments. For instance, at the CERN or SLAC, the very large particle accelerators were designed while taking terrestrial tides into account for proper operation. Among the effects that need to be taken into account are circumference deformation for circular accelerators and particle beam energy.

    Since tidal forces generate currents of conducting fluids within the interior of the Earth, they affect in turn the Earth’s magnetic field itself.

    I find the reference to affecting the magnetic field (bottom) and triggering volcanic events interesting…

    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com/2013/06/are-dansgaard-oeschger-d-o-warm-events.html

    Has an interesting way of getting the 1800 year lunar cycle (and related 1200 ish year Soros cycles) to line up with the 1470 Bond Event cycles (that are not as exact as he states on longer time scales… looking to have sporadic ‘skips’ of parts of a cycle as things shift around a bit).

    I tried to make a comment there that seems to have evaporated (after the captcha step) that basically points out that some D.O. and Bond Events have what looks like a few hundred year offesets, like a partial sync of changing things was enough trigger in some cases. Oh Well.

    The important point being that those lunar tides (be they 1200, 1470, or 1800 year ‘cycles’) will also be moving crust and magma, along with water and air. What is the effect of moving a load of water OFF of a subduction zone or rift zone with volcanoes? Of moving that land up a 1/2 meter and pulling away a load of air pressure too? Enough to trigger a marginal state into active? Remember the 1800s books and stories with all those tropical islands with active volcanoes? Then the quiet of the 1990-2000 era. I think a tidal link to volcanism is almost guaranteed.

  25. Pingback: The Moon’s Orbit is Wrong, It Can Change a Lot, And Tides Will Too | Musings from the Chiefio

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