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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moon Wake

I came across a really interesting article the other day at

Researchers have discovered that as the shadow of a lunar eclipse passes over the earth the shadow cools the atmosphere and the moving temperature differential between the sun-exposed portion of the atmosphere and the moon-shadowed portion of the atmosphere creates a kind of rippling wake (bow waves and stern waves).

(Who'd have thought given that all climate science is already decided... maybe these researchers didn't get the memo.)

It turns out that, as far back as 1970, two researchers at the University of Toronto, George Chimonas and Colin Hines, had predicted an effect like this.  But the atmosphere, being so large and all, was hard to test in order to prove or disprove their theory.

Standford, around the same time, reported detecting "acoustic gravity waves" - the name given to atmospheric waves - traveling through the atmosphere.  However, since there's no direct link between a given wave in the atmosphere and known causes (such as an earthquake, nukes and thunderstorms) there was no way to confirm the U of T theory.

Forty years later, however, thanks to GPS-based technology researchers were able to, for the first time, detect both bow and stern atmospheric waves as a consequence of the eclipse.

These waves travel at about 30 and 80 km above the surface of the earth as the eclipse passes by and are detect by indirect means using the GPS signals to detect fluctuations in the arrival time of the signals.

Five years ago I wrote about Global Dimming - another interesting phenomena that seems to have escaped the notice of climate researchers.

The shadow of a lunar eclipse stirring up the atmosphere seems somehow just as interesting and mysterious and, until 2009, only a theory.

Its fascinating how things here-to-fore completely unknown just appear out of nowhere.

I wonder if the folks thinking up things like giant space-based solar shields (like this as an example) have thought through all the consequences what they propose...  oh wait - this article is from 2007 when no one knew what effect shadows from eclipses had on the earth.

Sadly, though much of this is tongue in cheek, it seems pretty clear that what passes for "science" today is really not science at all but politically-based half-baked scientific speculation.  Lunar eclipses are relatively rare - and full lunar eclipses even rarer.

But what if some idiot built a giant solar shield and put it up over the earth?

My guess is that no one today really has any clue what the result would be.

We can tell from the physicsworld article that a temperature differential would be generated.  But the one discussed in the article is very small compared to what a giant shield might do.  And the shield would be there a relatively long time as compared to an eclipse which is transient.

Science is so narrowly focused, like so many other things today.  One hand has no idea what the other is doing.

But looking in from the 50,000 foot view you see, not a monolithic, well thought out system, but instead a bunch of confused villagers running around in panic based on very narrowly perceived fears.

The PS/3 game called "Village Greifer" sort of exemplifies this...

What's so cute about this game is the sad irony it offers on how we think about ourselves, our planet, and our environment.

Maybe there really is someone up there controlling things...  up there behind the curtain... Yet we, as villagers, are really completely powerless.

Maybe that someone is really just an avatar in a larger game of some sort...

Who knows.

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