Skip to comments.Earth's Chandler Wobble Changed Dramatically in 2005
Posted on 02/23/2013 1:31:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv
New analysis shows that the Chandler Wobble in Earths axis changed phase by 180 degrees in 2005. The question is why.
If you travel to the Arctic and attempt to find the axis of Earths rotation, youll notice something odd. The position of this axis on Earths surface moves with a period of about seven years. This is the combined result of two effects. The one were interested today is called the Chandler Wobble, which has a period of 433 days and was discovered by American astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler in 1891.
The Chandler Wobble is reasonably well understood. Any spinning sphere that it is not entirely spherical should wobble in this way. However, on Earth, the wobble varies in amplitude from decade to decade, a motion that is thought to be the result of the changes in pressure at the bottom of the oceans caused by fluctuations in salinity, temperature, and ocean circulation.
But there is also something mysterious about the Chandler Wobble. In 1920, it underwent a sudden phase change of 180 degrees. Nobody knows why.
Now a new analysis of data on Earths rotation going back 160 years indicates that this event was not unique. Zinovy Malkin and Natalia Miller at the Russian Academy of Sciences Central Astronomical Observatory in Pulkovo say the phase has changed by small amounts on many occasions during this time. But the big news is that the wobble underwent 180-degree changes in phase on two other occasions: once in 1850 and the other in 2005.
So why should the Chandler Wobble undergo these changes in phase? An interesting puzzle for anybody with a few brain cycles to spare.
(Excerpt) Read more at technologyreview.com ...
Chandler wobble: two more large phase jumps revealed
Zinovy Malkin, Natalia Miller
(Submitted on 26 Aug 2009)
Investigations of the anomalies in the Earth rotation, in particular, the polar motion components, play an important role in our understanding of the processes that drive changes in the Earth’s surface, interior, atmosphere, and ocean. This paper is primarily aimed at investigation of the Chandler wobble (CW) at the whole available 163-year interval to search for the major CW amplitude and phase variations. First, the CW signal was extracted from the IERS (International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service) Pole coordinates time series using two digital filters: the singular spectrum analysis and Fourier transform. The CW amplitude and phase variations were examined by means of the wavelet transform and Hilbert transform. Results of our analysis have shown that, besides the well-known CW phase jump in the 1920s, two other large phase jumps have been found in the 1850s and 2000s. As in the 1920s, these phase jumps occurred contemporarily with a sharp decrease in the CW amplitude.
Journal reference: Earth Planets Space, 2010, v. 62, No. 12, 943-947
What is Chandler Wobble caused by and how well can it be predicted?
Ask the Space Scientist
Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX)
This is the name given to the movement of the earth’s pole by 0.7 arcseconds over a period of about 14 months. For more information, visit a site over at the National Radio Astronomy Obserrvatory and check out the IEPS Bulletin at the U.S. Naval Observatory which predicts the earth polar wander based on a mathematical model. Chandler Wobble is a periodic phenomenon which means that it can be modeled by ‘simply’ fitting a harmonic series of sines or cosines to the past record of deflections, and then using this empirical model to make limited forecasts into the future. From what I understand of the technical literature, the cause of this wobble is believed to reside in the natural resonances in the body of the spinning earth due to the detailed distribution of mass in its surface, interior, oceans and atmosphere. This system has a ‘14-month’ harmonic which can be excited through a complex pattern of forcings by the moon, sun and sudden crustal rearrangements (earthquakes). There are many distinct periodic excitations by the sun and moon and their changing distances and tidal forcings, and these result in distinct monthly, yearly and multi-year periodicities in the polar wander. The Chandler Wobble may be a natural harmonic resonance that is also stimulated by these other constant lunar-solar forcings at the natural resonance frequency of the solid earth.
Bingo!!! Five for five!
Jake: No, I didn’t. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
Off the top of my head, the Boxing Day earthquake of 2004 caused it.
“This is Chandler Bing.”
“Wow, short message.”
This will no doubt be linked to human-caused global climate disruption. Just wait.
"Er, what? Spinning?"
That was what I was thinking. It should be interesting to see if there is any change after the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Ask that reporterette who wondered on air whether that asteroid's trajectory might have been altered by global warming.
The chandler wobble.
THE EARTH IS BECOMING UNINHABITABLE!!!!!
ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP!!!
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