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More Evidence That Temperature Follows CO2 levels - You Read It Here First!

This is an updated entry on the relationship between the moon, CO2 levels and temperature - it brings together for the first time two strands of research and provides support for the C02 level following temperature rather than the other way around.

Ernst-Georg Beck first said that "CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases" Higher CO2 levels occur at full moons.


(Phases of the Moon can be checked here.)

1 June 1999 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Randall S. Cerveny and Robert C. Balling Jr, of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, demonstrate a strong relationship between the phase of the Moon and the range of temperatures experienced throughout a 24-hour day (the Diurnal Temperature Range, or DTR.)

Influence of Lunar Phase on Daily Global Temperatures Balling, Robert C., Jr.; Cerveny, Randall S Science, Volume 267, Issue 5203, pp. 1481-1483
These results reveal a statistically significant 0.02 K modulation between new moon and full moon, with the warmest daily global temperatures over a synodic month coincident with the occurrence of the full moon. Spectral analysis of the daily temperature record confirms the presence of a periodicity that matches the lunar synodic (29.53-day) cycle. The precision of the satellite-based daily temperature record allows verification that the moon exerts a discernible influence on the short-term, global temperature record.

They show that for the period between 1950 and 1995, the DTR fluctuates with the phases of the Moon. It tends to increase towards Full Moon, and tends to be lowest at New Moon. Simple
monthly differences in DTR between New Moon and Full Moon may be as much as 0.309 ºC

The researchers look at two possible causes for the observed increase in DTR close to the Full Moon. One is that moonlight -- the solar radiation reflected by the Moon -- could actually warm the Earth at this time of the month. This effect, which will be greatest at Full Moon, is small, but appreciable when calculated over the course of a month. However, it will only have the effect of increasing night-time temperatures.

More significant is a connection between the phase of the Moon and the overall position of the Earth–Moon system with respect to the Sun. It seems that the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon, and will therefore receive slightly more solar radiation during daylight hours, increasing maximum temperatures and thus DTR as a whole. - Adapted from a cached Nature article which also says "The message should be clear: all possible sources of variation should be investigated before blaming human activity alone for observed changes in climatic parameters."

Other references abstracts:

Impact of lunar phase on the timing of global and latitudinal tropospheric temperature maxima Balling, Robert C.; Cerveny, Randall S.

Over the past 16 years, global temperature data show that the warmest time of the synodic cycle generally occurs five to eight days before the full moon. This global pattern appears strongly in the polar and subtropical regions, however, the mid-latitudes of both hemispheres are inversely related to the global pattern. These empirical findings discount the possibility that variations in radiant energy directly control lower-tropospheric temperatures through the synodic month, and suggest a more indirect lunar modulation related to atmospheric circulation, specifically mid-latitude Rossby wave variations.

Updated paper confirms a statistically significantly higher DTR occurs near the full moon (~10.23°C) while a lower DTR occurs near the new moon (~10.13°C).

And a 2000 paper - Evidence of lunar phase influence on global surface air temperature Anyamba, Ebby K.; Susskind, Joel - reports that Intraseasonal oscillations appearing in a newly available 20-year record of satellite-derived surface air temperature are composited with respect to the lunar phase. The daily surface air temperature is one of the geophysical fields derived from the TOVS data processed at the NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres. Polar regions exhibit strong lunar phase modulation with higher temperatures occurring near full moon and lower temperatures at new moon, in agreement with previous studies. The polar response to the apparent lunar forcing is most robust in winter when solar influence is at minimum. In addition, the response appears to be influenced by ENSO events. The highest mean temperature range between full moon and new moon in the region between 60° and 90° latitude was recorded in 1983, 1986/87, and 1990/91. Although the largest signal is in the polar regions, anomalies tend to progress equartoward in both hemispheres so that the warming in the tropics occurs at the time of the new moon.

So just using modern CO2 measurements from Muana Loa and accurate temperature records we can see that as the temperature goes up the CO2 level follows on this cycle - I'm making the assumption that there is no mechanism for the moon to increase the CO2 levels directly.

In a previous post I also quoted this:

Dip in the atmospheric CO2 level during the mid-1960's
Authors: Bacastow, R.
Publication: (International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Symposium on the Carbon Dioxide Cycle, Seattle, Wash., Aug. 31, 1977.) Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 84, June 20, 1979, p. 3108-3114. NSF-supported research. (JGR Homepage)
Publication Date: 06/1979
Bibliographic Code:

Removal of the southern oscillation effect from the CO2 records at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and the South Pole reveals corresponding decreases following the Agung eruption (Bali) in 1963. The period of the decreases roughly corresponds to the period of reduced solar transmittance, as measured at Mauna Loa. It is suggested that the decrease in CO2 level is due to reduced sea surface temperatures, for which there is some direct evidence. The temperature anomaly required to produce the CO2 level dip is calculated on the basis of several simple models and found to be close to that observed.


If you have time look at this http://newsbusters.org/node/12968 - a 15 years old Australian who took the liberty of upsetting the IPCC within six weeks of their last prognostication.


Um, so?

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