October 1, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Two More Climate Snafus Found

Is the science really settled on climate change? Here are two more factors overlooked in the models.

Undersea Earthquakes Shake Up Climate Science (Caltech). But did they think of this before?

Despite climate change being most obvious to people as unseasonably warm winter days or melting glaciers, as much as 95 percent of the extra heat trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases is held in the world’s oceans. For that reason, monitoring the temperature of ocean waters has been a priority for climate scientists, and now Caltech researchers have discovered that seismic rumblings on the seafloor can provide them with another tool for doing that.

A 60‐Year Cycle in the Meteorite Fall Frequency Suggests a Possible Interplanetary Dust Forcing of the Earth’s Climate Driven by Planetary Oscillations (Geophysical Research Letters). Factors outside of human control may be causing climate change.

The physical origin of the modulation of the cloud system and of many of the Earth’s climate oscillations from the decadal to the millennial timescales is still unclear, despite its importance in climate science. One of the most prominent oscillations has a period of about 60 years and is found in a number of geophysical records such as temperature reconstructions, aurora sights, Indian rainfalls, ocean climatic records, and in many others. These oscillations might emerge from the internal variability of the climate system, but increasing evidence also points toward a solar or astronomical origin. Herein we speculate whether the oscillations of the orbits of the planetary system could modulate the interplanetary dust flux falling on the Earth, then modifying the cloud coverage. We find that the orbital eccentricity of Jupiter presents a strong 60‐year oscillation that is well correlated with several climatic records and with the 60‐year oscillation found in long meteorite fall records since the 7th century. Since meteorite falls are the most macroscopic aspect of infalling space dust, we conclude that the interplanetary dust should modulate the formation of the clouds and, thus, drive climate changes.

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