Constraints on climate forcing by sulphate aerosols from seasonal changes in Earth’s spin

SummaryAngular momentum exchanges between atmosphere and solid Earth are strongly modulated by variations in global atmospheric circulation. Geodetically determined length-of-day (LOD) fluctuations provide an independent resource to investigate climate changes. Here, I evaluate the effects of volcanic and anthropogenic sulphate aerosols on Earth’s rotational energy variations. The period analysed, 1980–2002, shows that the strongest seasonal LOD variations are related to sulphate peak concentrations from the El-Chichón 1982, and Pinatubo and Cerro Hudson 1991 volcanic eruptions. The Earth’s rotational energy budget implies that radiative forcing alone cannot produce the observed LOD anomalies. Rather, the required amount of atmospheric kinetic energy can be explained only by a strong influence of sulphate aerosols on energy partitioning into the atmosphere, for example, as sulphate aerosols affect latent heat release and transport during condensation–evaporation–freezing cycles. Overall, the effects of sulphate aerosols on Earth’s spin changes are faster than those produced by greenhouse gases.

via Constraints on climate forcing by sulphate aerosols from seasonal changes in Earth’s spin.

Pressing Refresh Notes: I haven’t read this yet. My husband found it at Astral Traveler. He said it is worth reading. BTW…Astral Traveler has great video news and the comments are always just as interesting!


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