Newton’s Law on terrestrial something or other.

From the book that started off my career as a "Lunarist", something badly written early in the 20th century: …

This is a quote about the part the moon doesn't play in the weather:

Meteorology: Weather and methods of forecasting
Thomas Russell US Assistant Engineer.

MacMillan & Co New York 1895

Originally posted by Thomas Russell:

Weather records that there is a somewhat greater tendency to rain in the quarter after full moon than at other times; there is a greater probability of rain with the moon in perigee than apogee.

There is no doubt in this relation of the moon and rain but the difference is not known even approximately and it varies for the different parts of the earth.

It is of no practical value for weather prediction. Attempts have been made to show that there is less cloudiness at full moon than at other times. The results are contradictory for different places.

The effect is either so small that the longest series of records does not show it, or it does not exist.

The affect of the moon on the frequency of thunder storms is inappreciable.

With regard to the change of the weather and the change of the moon in 5,000 cases examined, 1,800 showed a change of weather and change 3,200 no change.

The effect of the moon on the pressure of the atmosphere is very slight. There is an ebb and flow that is only perceptible near the equator by the most refined instrumental means of observation.

The difference between the least and the greatest pressure due to the effect of the moon is only 0.004 of an inch (of mercury in a barometer. These days we use millibar which is the pressure in millimeters.)

The pressure of the air is probably greater with the moon farthest from the earth and greater at quadriture than syzygies.

No predictions of any value can be based on pressure variations due to the moon.


6 thoughts on “Newton’s Law on terrestrial something or other.

  1. The book is full of fancies like the above and is very misleading.

    Mr Cleveland Abbe, of the American Weather Bureau, Washington Office, referring to the abnormal summer weather, declared the moon had nothing to do with it:“We haven't the slightest notion as to the cause of this summer's extraordinary weather. We know that it isn't the moon and that it isn't sun spots but what it is we are unable to say.

    In the same chapter the author goes on to describe events at Mt Pele. He refers to the volcano as a cone. Fair enough, on the equator that might pass the no brains no argument test.But other volcanoes quite far from the equator, Antarctica for instance and Kamchatka and Alaska for others, are cones too.The one in Antarctica aught to be pointing almost due north. But would it be conical?I suppose I aught to confess here that this afternoon I was still of the opinion that the air layers had something -everything; to do with the way the weather works. I couldn't see any other viable first cause.I was positive it was an acoustic set up. And the only way it could occur was with interference in the various air layers.But air giving up its energy and dying isn't the way to instil life into the weather, it's just the reverse. Rain falls when a weather system gives up and dies, it's done its work raising the water. Or at least the evolution of rain is a slump factor, a negative input to the energy budget.When it can no longer keep it up everything drops, to coin a phrase.Then I was playing with a shelf bracket. It is a piece of folded steel and makes a good tuning fork. I was trying to get different notes out of it, wondering how they tune steel drums. When it occurred to me that wind blowing across mountains causes sound.I've read an abstract on this. I've even commented online about the part the Rockies might have played in the death of one airliner.So that just goes to show how easy it is to get fixated in your ignorance.

    The governor of Martinique and St Vincent, who seeing the natives getting restless just before an election, ordered his troops to form road blocks and turn back the cautious who were fleeing the city.He even sent for a warship to help him quell the unrest. The local newspapers derided the possibilities -even after plantations were inundated (with an hot mud.)The day before it was all over, the “leading scientist” at Martinique (M. Landes0 quoted in Les Colonies 7 May said:Vesuvius has never made any victims. Pompeii was evacuated in time and few bodies have ever been found in the cities.Mont Pelee is no more to be feared by St Pierre than Vesuvius is feared by Naples.

    I wouldn't be the first idiot forced to eat his words.If it is hills and mountains, it would explain the winds of Mars, the shape of Jupiter and the size and frequency of the wind waves on this and every other planet.We know how large valleys are and how high mountain ranges are and what frequencies are likely to result from the various wind speeds across them.The maths is almost done and dusted for us.All we have to do now, is prove it.Fortunately for me I am not hampered by scientific conventions. I don't need to be peer reviewed and I wouldn't care if I was never taken seriously, my career does not depend on such things.And if I was ever asked to supply an example of test control in the scientific method, I'd just insist my critics supply me with one for the theory of evolution or for solar fusion first.Or almost any of the soft ideologies they have these days that won't stand up to rigid testing. Climate change, anyone?

  2. What causes weather?When air masses reash the middle of the Atlantic they seem to halt over the Mid Atlantic Ridge. It is as if they are waiting there to build up.When they get to the Rockies the composite part of the air masses seem to separate out. Some revert from Lows to Highs.None of which is causing the air masses to exist in the first place. Perhaps they are comprised of heat differentials brought about by the sun.But once inspired, they take on their own period and direction.Is the Atlantic Basin a sounding board?Is it itself inspiring the huge waves called Rossby Waves?Are the upper air clouds the result of the wavelengths of the acoustic properties of oceans?Why do Lows stall at the Mid Atlantic Ridge.Highs too?One or the other tends to enlarge or contract over the place that holds the Icelandic Low and The Azores High. Is that phenomenon caused by the frequency of the coastlines bordering the ocean?How would you even hope to formulate a plan of enquiry?We have to listen to the airwaves. I wonder what HARP has got as background noise.I bet they have had this answer all along, from the word go with that thing they must have been working out how to analyse their material by trimming the white noise that causes the weather and not even stopped to consider what was going on with it in the first place.Wouldn't that be a laugh?The ultimate in military intelligence.The people who got rid of all their out of date computers and lost all the data they had from the early years because nobody had a punch-card reader any more. The people who set the early upper air satellite samplers to ignore ozone depletion levels for a decade.Oh boy, what larks!What larks indeed.The people who ultimately, made available all their data to the whole planet so that they could if they wished, free of all convention and ties, deliberate on the matter for themselves and in the end provide the solution.The people who were I a United States of American, would supply me by virtue of the freedom of information act, the answer to that conundrum.Or not, as the case might have been.Would I have got caught in this windmill if I wasn't a Brit?

  3. From the book I got this, something badly written early in the 20th century, I also got this:

    The plane of (the moon's) ellipse is not stationary with respect to the earth' axis; it oscillates about the plane of the ecliptic and takes 18.6 years (or 18 years and 7 months) to complete the movement.This is one of the so called pertubations of the moon. Another is the movement of the apse line or major axis of the ellipse, which revolves revolves completely in the plane of the moons orbit in 8.6 years.*The phases must always be taken into account as they show the relative positions of the sun and moon. One “phasial” cycle is 19 years, when the phases are repeated within 24 hours** of the same time. After 62 years they are repeated to within a few minutes.***Therefore the following periods have to be taken into consideration.18.6 years (apside)19 and 62 years (phase)186 =10 x 18.6 = 21 x 8,86 = 3 x62133 = 7 x 19 = 15 x 8.86130 = 7 x 18.6 = 10 x 1399 = 10 x 8 +19 = 62 + 2 x 18.693 = 3 x 31 = 10 x 8 +1375 =62 +1344 = 31 + 1331 = 18 + 1318 = 13 + 513 = 18 – 5 and (I can do this one)5 = 10 – 5 and multiples threof.

    Most of this will be a waste of time except for the 62 year one, if true. I don't think it holds anywhere near true but I haven't checked.*The moon moves in an oval which itself is spinning. The ellipse has a maximum and a minimum diameter. (And an infinite number of others in between.)The largest and smallest are called major and minor axis because the ellipse is symmetrical only on those two diameters.**Having the phase repeat within 24 hours is a nothing. It's got to be pretty close to spot on a repeat of 1 hour to mean anything as the time of the phase is crucial.***This one should be possible to get records for. I've no idea how it would hold up. The only success I ever had with looking at cycles was wth a couple of phases in 1928 and 1994. The weather was very similar but the main events were out of sequence. But then so were the pieces I was making fit.I never had the success with the times of the phase matching cyclones again and gave up on it. Also you have to bear in mind that there was almost no weather office at the time.It was just a disreputable branch of physics and maths, still called a philosophy and kept going more by popular demand rather than military prescience. Consider:

    …the moon in the minds of many people, nevertheless remained a controller of the weather. How much, how little was not insisted upon. It did something. Even veterans in the ranks of orthodox meteorologists confessed to sharing in this view and applied themselves to the ascertainment of what the influence really was.

    Unhappily the observers confined themselves to the various phases of the moon, regardless of all other considerations. And naturally failed to find the solution…

    The writer later goes into a discussion about lunar attractions which are resolved into “normal” and ”tangential” components.The normal being the direct opposition to the pull of the earth and perpendicular to the moon can only be supposed to occur about the tropics. Everything else is a tangential effect.A tangential pull is unopposed to gravity and can only work on the same side of the earth as the moon and only pull along the ground -not up from it.I'm pretty sure that the writer assumes the moon can lift effectively on the normal plane despite the bulk of the tides (in his assumption) occurring outside the tropics.And moreover, there is a distinct lack of cyclonic activity along the equator.

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