Changes in the Earth’s Rate of Rotation on an El Niño to Century Basis

  • Nils-Axel Mörner
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 261)


Accelerations and decelerations in the Earth’s rate of rotation of more than one year’s duration have generally been assumed to be balanced by corresponding core motions. It is shown, however, that changes of duration from El Niño events to 50–150 years are primarily balanced by, or rather driven by, hydrospheric motions, i.e. oceanic circulation changes. Two (or three) of the major LOD changes during the last 350 years are linked to geomagnetic “jerks”. Whilst the corresponding interchange of angular momentum primarily seems to have taken place between the “solid” Earth and the hydrosphere, the jerks seem to represent related flow changes in the outermost part of the outer core.


Angular Momentum Gulf Stream Outer Core Virtual Geomagnetic Pole Atmospheric Angular Momentum 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nils-Axel Mörner
    • 1
  1. 1.Paleogeophysics & GeodynamicsGeological InstituteStockholmSweden

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