The moon influences earth's temperature too

The 18.6-year lunar nodal cycle and surface temperature variability in the northeast Pacific

By Stewart M. McKinnell & William R. Crawford


The 18.6-year lunar nodal cycle (LNC) is a significant feature of winter (January) air and sea temperatures along the North American west coast over a 400-year period.

Yet much of the recent temperature variation can also be explained by wind patterns associated with the PNA teleconnection. At Sitka, Alaska, (57°N) and nearby stations in northern British Columbia, the January PNA index accounts for over 70% of average January air temperatures in lengthy meteorological records.

It appears that the LNC signal in January air temperatures in this region is not independent of the PNA, but is a component of it. The Sitka air temperature record, along with SSTs along the British Columbia coast and the PNA index have significant cross-correlations with the LNC that appear at a 2-year lag, LNC leading. The influence of the PNA pattern declines in winter with decreasing latitude but the LNC component does not.

It appears as a significant feature of long-term SST variation at Scripps Pier and the California Current System.

The LNC also appears over centennial-scales in proxy temperatures along western North America. The linkage of LNC-moderated surface temperatures to processes involving basin-scale teleconnections expands the possibility that the proximate mechanism may be located remotely from its expression in the northeast Pacific. Some of the largest potential sources of a diurnal tidal signal in the atmosphere are located in the western Pacific; the Sea of Okhotsk and the Indonesian archipelago.


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