Pacific warm pool excitation, Earth rotation and El Niño southern oscillations

Xiao Hai Yan, Yonghong Zhou, Jiayi Pan, Dawei Zheng, Mingqiang Fang, Xinhao Liao, Ming Xia He, W. Timothy Liu, Xiaoli Ding

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The interannual changes in the Earth's rotation rate, and hence in the length of day (LOD), are thought to be caused by the variation of the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM). However, there is still a considerable portion of the LOD variations that remain unexplained. Through analyzing the non-atmospheric LOD excitation contributed by the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) during the period of 1970-2000, the positive effects of the WPWP on the interannual LOD variation are found, although the scale of the warm pool is much smaller than that of the solid Earth. These effects are specifically intensified by the El Niño events, since more components of the LOD-AAM were accounted for by the warm pool excitation in the strong El Niño years. Changes in the Earth's rotation rate has attracted significant attention, not only because it is an important geodetic issue but also because it has significant value as a global measure of variations within the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere and solid Earth, and hence the global changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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