Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 33–69 | Cite as

Influence Of The Atmosphere On Earth Rotation: What New Can Be Learned From The Recent Atmospheric Angular Momentum Estimates?

  • Aleksander Brzeziński
  • Christian Bizouard
  • Sergei D. Petrov


The interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying solid mantle is oneof the most important sources of changes in all three components of theEarth's rotation vector on different time scales. In this paper the NCEP/NCARreanalysis time series of four times daily atmospheric effective angularmomentum (EAM) estimates is used to investigate some selected aspects of theatmospheric influence on Earth rotation. Emphasis is placed on thecontroversial features which were difficult or impossible to study using theoperational EAM data, such as excitation of the free oscillations in polarmotion, the Chandler wobble (CW) and the free core nutation (FCN), or theroles of diurnal and semidiurnal atmospheric tides and atmospheric normalmodes in the rotational dynamics of the Earth.

Atmospheric excitation Earth rotation polar motion nutation length of day variation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aoyama, Y. and Naito, I.: 2001, Atmospheric excitation of the Chandler wobble, 1983-1998, J. Geophys. Res. 106(B5), 8941–8954.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, R.T.H., Hide, R., White, A.A., and Wilson, C.A.: 1983, Atmospheric angular momentum fluctuations, length-of-day changes and polar motion, Proc. R. Soc. London A387, 31–73.Google Scholar
  3. Bizouard, Ch., Brzeziński, A., and Petrov, S.: 1998a, Diurnal atmospheric forcing and temporal variations of the nutation amplitudes, Journal of Geodesy 72, 561–577.Google Scholar
  4. Bizouard, Ch., Brzeziński, A., and Petrov, S.: 1998b, Atmospheric contribution to the precession, paper presented at XXIII EGS Assembly, Nice, April 1998.Google Scholar
  5. Brzeziński, A.: 1987, Statistical investigations on atmospheric angular momentum functions and on their effects on polar motion, Manuscripta Geodaetica 12, 268–281.Google Scholar
  6. Brzeziński, A.: 1992, Polar motion excitation by variations of the effective angular momentum function: Considerations concerning deconvolution problem, Manuscripta Geodaetica 17, 3–20.Google Scholar
  7. Brzeziński, A.: 1994a, Polar motion excitation by variations of the effective angular momentum function, II: Extended model, Manuscripta Geodaetica 19, 157–171.Google Scholar
  8. Brzeziński, A.: 1994b, Diurnal and semidiurnal polar motions estimated from the intensive atmospheric angular momentum data, Annales Geophysicae 12(Suppl. I, Part I), C177.Google Scholar
  9. Brzeziński, À??A.: 1995, On the interpretation of maximum entropy power spectrum and cross-power spectrum in earth rotation investigations, Manuscripta Geodaetica 20, 248–264.Google Scholar
  10. Brzeziński, A.: 2000a, The CEP and geophysical interpretation of modern Earth rotation observations, in S. Dick, D. McCarthy and B. Luzum (eds.), Proc. IAU Colloquium 178 “Polar Motion: Historical and Scientific Problems”, Astron. Soc. of the Pacific Conf. Series, Vol. 208, pp. 585–594.Google Scholar
  11. Brzeziński, A.: 2000b, A Kalman filter-based approach to studying geophysical excitation of polar motion, Geophys. Res. Abstracts 2, G305.Google Scholar
  12. Brzeziński, A.: 2001, Estimation of the free core nutation parameters from the observed celestial motion of the pole, in preparation.Google Scholar
  13. Brzeziński, A. and Capitaine, N.: 1993, The use of the precise observations of the Celestial Ephemeris Pole in the analysis of geophysical excitation of earth rotation, Journal of Geophys. Res. 98(B4), 6667–6675.Google Scholar
  14. Brzeziński, A. and Nastula, J.: 2001, Oceanic excitation of the Chandler wobble, Adv. Space Res., in press.Google Scholar
  15. Brzeziński, A. and Petrov, S.D.: 1995, An analysis of the new long polar motion series: Estimation of the Chandler wobble parameters, presented at XXI IUGG General Assembly, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  16. Brzeziński, A. and Petrov, S.D.: 1998, Observational evidence of the free core nutation and its geophysical excitation, in N. Capitaine (ed.), Proc. Journees 1998, Observatoire de Paris, pp. 169–174.Google Scholar
  17. Brzeziński, A. and Petrov, S.D.: 2000, High frequency atmospheric excitation of Earth rotation, in B. Kolaczek, H. Schuh, and D. Gambis (eds.), IERS Technical Note No. 28, Observatoire de Paris, pp. 53–60.Google Scholar
  18. Celaya, M.A., Wahr, J.M., and Bryan, F.O.: 1999, Climate-driven polar motion, J. Geophys. Res. 104(B6), 12,813-12,829.Google Scholar
  19. Chapman, S. and Lindzen, R.S.: 1970, Atmospheric Tides: Thermal and Gravitational, Reidel, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  20. Dehant, V., Bizouard, Ch., Hinderer, J., Legros, H., and Greff-Lefftz, M.: 1996, On atmospheric pressure perturbations on precession and nutations, Phys. Earth and Planet. Inter. 96, 25–39.Google Scholar
  21. Eubanks, T.M.: 1991, Fluid normal modes and rapid variations in the rotation of the Earth, unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  22. Eubanks, T.M.: 1993, Variations in the orientation of the Earth, in D.E. Smith and D.L. Turcotte (eds.), Contributions of Space Geodesy to Geodynamics: Earth Dynamics, Geodynamics Series, Vol. 24, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., pp. 1–54.Google Scholar
  23. Eubanks, T.M., Steppe, J.A., and Sovers, O.J.: 1985, An analysis and intercomparison of VLBI nutation estimates, in I.I. Mueller (ed.), Proc. Int. Conf. on Earth Rotation and the Terrestrial Reference Frame, Ohio State University, Ohio, pp. 326–340.Google Scholar
  24. Eubanks, T.M., Steppe, J.A., Dickey, J.O., Rosen, R.D., and Salstein, D.A.: 1988, Causes of rapid motions of the Earth's pole, Nature 334, 115–119.Google Scholar
  25. Furuya, M., Hamano, Y., and Naito, I.: 1996, Quasi-periodic wind signal as a possible excitation of the Chandler wobble, J. Geophys. Res. 101(B11), 25,537-25,546.Google Scholar
  26. Gegout, P., Hinderer, J., Legros, H., Greff, M., and Dehant, V.: 1998, Influence of atmospheric pressure on the Free Core Nutation, precession and some forced nutational motions of the Earth, Phys. Earth Planet. Interiors, 106, 337–351.Google Scholar
  27. Gross, R.S.: 1992, Correspondence between theory and observation of polar motion, Geophys. J. Int. 109, 162–170.Google Scholar
  28. Gross, R.S.: 2000a, Combination of Earth-orientation measurements: SPACE97 COMB97, and POLE97, Journal of Geodesy 73, 627–637.Google Scholar
  29. Gross, R.S.: 2000b, The excitation of the Chandler wobble, Geophys. Res. Lett. 27, 2329–2332.Google Scholar
  30. Gross, R.S. and Lindqwister, U.J.: 1992, 'Atmospheric excitation of polar motion during the GIG'91 measurements campaign, Geophys. Res. Lett. 19, 849–852.Google Scholar
  31. IERS: 1988-1999,International Earth Rotation Service Annual Reports for 1987-1998, Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  32. Jeffreys, H.: 1940, The variation of latitude, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astrom. Soc. 100(3), 139–155.Google Scholar
  33. Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K.C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetmaa, A., Reynolds, R., Jenne, R., and Joseph, D.: 1996, The NMC/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project, Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 77(3), 437–471.Google Scholar
  34. Lambeck, K.: 1980, The Earth's Variable Rotation: Geophysical Causes and Consequences, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. McCarthy, D.D.: 1996, IERS Conventions 1996, IERS Technical Note 21, Observatoire de Paris.Google Scholar
  36. Munk, W.H. and MacDonald, G.J.F.: 1960, The Rotation of the Earth: A Geophysical Discussion, Cambridge University Press (reprint 1975).Google Scholar
  37. Petrov, S.D.: 1998, Modeling Excitation of Earth Rotation: Stochastic and Nonlinear Approaches, Ph.d. Thesis, Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.Google Scholar
  38. Petrov, S.D. and Brzeziński, A.: 1996, On the contribution of the atmospheric normal modes to the polar motion excitation, in Proc. Russian Conference “Modern Problems and Methods of Astrometry and Geodynamics”, Institute of Applied Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, pp. 308–313.Google Scholar
  39. Petrov, S.D., Brzeziński, A., and Bizouard, Ch.: 1997, The time domain comparison of the VLBI nutation series and observed changes of the aatmospheric angular momentum, in J. Vondrák and N. Capitaine (eds.), Proc. Journees 1997, Observatoire de Paris, p. 107.Google Scholar
  40. Petrov, S.D., Brzeziński, A., and Bizouard, Ch.: 1998, Diurnal and semidiurnal variations of the atmospheric angular momentum and Earth orientation parameters, Trudy IPA RAN, wyp.3 “Astrometria i geodinamika”, St. Petersburg, pp. 24–35, in Russian.Google Scholar
  41. Ponte, R.M., Salstein, D.A., and Rosen, R.D.: 1991, Sea level response to pressure forcing in a barotropic numerical model, J. Phys. Oceanogr. 21(7), 1043–1057.Google Scholar
  42. Ponte, R.M. and Gaspar, P.: 1999, Regional analysis of the inverted barometer effect over the global ocean using TOPEX/POSEIDON data and model results, J. Geophys. Res. 104(C7), 15,587- 15,601.Google Scholar
  43. Ponte, R.M. and Stammer, D.: 1999, Role of ocean currents and bottom pressure variability on seasonal polar motion, J. Geophys. Res. 104(C10), 23,393-23,409.Google Scholar
  44. Ponte, R.M. and Stammer, D.: 2000, Global and regional axial ocean angular momentum signals and length-of-day variations (1985-1996), J. Geophys. Res. 105(C7), 17,161-17,171.Google Scholar
  45. Salstein, D.A., Kann, D.M., Miller, A.J., and Rosen, R.D.: 1993, The sub-bureau for atmospheric angular momentum of the International Earth Rotation Service: A meteorological data center with geodetic applications, Bull. American Meteorological Society 10(1), 67–80.Google Scholar
  46. Salstein, D.A. and Rosen, R.D.: 1995, Angular momentum and energetics in reanalysis products, in Proc. 20th Annual Climate Diagnostics Workshop, US Dept. Commerce, NOAA NWS/CPC/NCEP, pp. 337–340.Google Scholar
  47. Salstein, D.A. and Rosen, R.D.: 1997, Global momentum and energy signals from reanalysis systems, in Proc. 7th Conference on Climate Variations, American Met. Soc., Boston, MA, pp. 344–348.Google Scholar
  48. Sasao, T. and Wahr, J.M.: 1981, An excitation mechanism for the free ‘core nutation’, Geophys. J. Roy. Astrom. Soc. 64, 729–746.Google Scholar
  49. Smith, M.L. and Dahlen, F.A.: 1981, The period and Q of the Chandler wobble, Geophys. J. Roy. Astrom. Soc. 64, 223–281.Google Scholar
  50. Van Dam, T.M. and Wahr, J.M.: 1993, The atmospheric load response of the ocean determined using Geosat altimeter data, Geophys. J. Int. 113, 1–16.Google Scholar
  51. de Viron, O., Bizouard, Ch., Salstein, D., and Dehant, V.: 1999, Atmospheric torque on the Earth and comparison with atmospheric angular momentum variations, J. Geophys. Res. 104(B3), 4861–4875.Google Scholar
  52. de Viron, O., Ponte, R.M., and Dehant, V.: 2001, Indirect effect of the atmosphere through the ocean on the Earth's nutation by the torque approach, J. Gophys. Res. 106(B5), 8841–8851.Google Scholar
  53. Volland, H.: 1988, Atmospheric Tidal and Planetary Waves, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  54. Volland, H.: 1996, Atmosphere and Earth's rotation, Surveys in Geophysics 17, 101–144.Google Scholar
  55. Volland, H.: 1997, Atmospheric Tides, in H. Wilhelm, W. Zürn, and H.-G. Wenzel (eds.), Tidal Phenomena, Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, Vol. 66, Springer Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, pp. 221–246.Google Scholar
  56. Vondrák, J.: 1999, Earth rotation parameters 1899.7-1992.0 after reanalysis within the Hipparcos frame, Surveys in Geophys. 20, 169–195.Google Scholar
  57. Wahr, J.M.: 1982, The effects of the atmosphere and oceans on the earth's wobble - I. Theory, Geophys. J. Roy. Astrom. Soc. 70, 349–372.Google Scholar
  58. Wahr, J.M.: 1983, The effects of the atmosphere and oceans on the earth's wobble and on the seasonal variations in length of day - II. Results, Geophys. J. Roy. Astrom. Soc. 74, 451–487.Google Scholar
  59. Wilson, C.R. and Vicente, R.O.: 1990, Maximum likelihood estimate of polar motion parameters, in D.D. McCarthy and W.E. Carter (eds.), Variations in Earth Rotation, Geophys. Monograph 59, AGU, pp. 151–155.Google Scholar
  60. Zharkov, V.N., Molodensky, S.M., Brzeziński, A., Groten, E., and Varga, P.: 1996, The Earth and its Rotation: Low Frequency Geodynamics, Herbert Wichman Verlag, Hüthig GmbH, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  61. Zharov, V.E. and Gambis, D.: 1996, Atmospheric tides and rotation of the Earth, Journal of Geodesy 70, 321–326.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksander Brzeziński
    • 1
  • Christian Bizouard
    • 2
  • Sergei D. Petrov
    • 3
  1. 1.Space Research CentrePolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Observatoire de ParisParisFrance
  3. 3.Institute of Applied AstronomySt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations