Chandler Wobbles and the Moon

7 Mar 2013

Every now and again Tall Bloke's Work Shop posts a piece to set the commenters tapping at their keyboards and their brains go into overdrive, and this post by astrophysicist Ian Wilson seem to fall into that bracket - see ... which began life as a long comment to an earlier post by Tall Bloke. Basically, the question being asked is, 'Are changes in the Earth's rotation rate externally driven and do they affect climate?' (see also and The strongest planetary tidal forces acting on the lunar orbit, we are told, come from Venus, Mars, and Jupiter (tidal influences) and over the last 4 billion plus years the Moon, it is claimed, has slowly receded from Earth. During the course of lunar recession there have been occasions when the orbital periods of these planets has been in resonance with the precession rates for the line-of-nodes and the line-of-apse of the lunar orbit. When such resonances have occurred they would have amplified the effects of planetary tidal forces on the tilt of the moon's orbit. Hence, some of the observed synchronisation between these factors could be a cumulative fossil record left behind by these historical resonances.

Nils-Axel Morner, at says that around 2040, or shortly thereafter, there will be, as a result of low solar activity, a new Little Ice Age over the Arctic and NW Europe. Past solar minima, he assures his readers, is linked up to a general speed up of the Earth's rate of rotation, an interesting idea. The solar wind might affect the rotation of the entrire terrestrial system, he claimed in another paper (1996 and 1999) but it is solar minima, he insists, that corresponds to periods of faster rotation (Morner, 2010).