ENSO-events, Earth's Rotation and Global Changes

Nils-Axel Morner


The El Nĩno/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events represent significant disturbances of a variety of integrated Earth processes. Some of these are well-known and well recorded, others are obscure or unknown. We discuss the changes in the Earth's rate of rotation (LOD) during ENSO-events, note the transfer of angular momentum to the atmosphere and its effects on the westerly jet-streams, and formulate a novel concept of transfer of angular momentum to the hydrosphere and then back again to the "solid" Earth. The mechanism of interchange of angular momentum with the hydrosphere has wide applications. It is the driving mechanism for short-term Holocene redistributions of mass (sea level) and energy (paleoclimate) over the globe, as well as for variations in coastal upwelling (biological productivity) and air/sea interchanges (gases, etc.).


El Nino; ENSO; Earth's rotation; interchange of angular momentum; sea level; climate; global changes

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