Printer Friendly

Plugging holes with stratospheric winds.

In spite of its seemingly wispy nature, the atmosphere that enshrouds the globe can alter the rotation rate of the earth. Scientists have long been able to detect the atmosphere's part in speeding up and slowing down the planet.

But in matching the circulation patterns of the atmosphere--principally the troposphere, the layer closest to the ground--with changes in the rotation rate, researchers have uncovered some discrepancies. And to explain these, they have suggested a number of causes ranging from the redistribution of ground-water to changes in sea level.

Now, in the Aug. 20 JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, Richard Rosen and David Salstein of Atmospherid and Environmental Research, Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., show that most of the discrepancies can be accounted for by including data from the stratosphere, the layer just above the troposphere. After incorporating newly available stratospheric wind data, the meteorologists conclude that "tropospheric plus stratospheric winds can fully account for seasonal, nontidal changes in the length of day [or rotation rate] without invoking other geophysical processes."
COPYRIGHT 1985 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:research on atmosphere's effect on rotation rate of the earth
Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 31, 1985
Previous Article:Getting to the core of climate cycles.
Next Article:Observations on a legend: takin in the wild.

Related Articles
Pinning down a pole's position.
Opening doors to the core, and more.
Clouds without a silver lining: stratospheric clouds help pollutants poke holes in the ozone layer.
Wherefore the world's wobble?
Arctic ozone succumbs to chemical assault.
Jupiter and Earth: something in the air.
New year in space; NASA zeros in on planet earth.
Climate still reeling from Pinatubo blast.
El Nino shifts Earth's momentum.
Solving one mystery of polar wander.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters