Project Loon and QBO

Missed this recent development related to QBO. Google is planning on deploying balloons to the stratosphere which carry transceivers capable of improving global Internet capability.

This is the stratosphere, so remember that the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) of winds will likely play an important role in how the balloons get carried aloft around the earth. Google scientists and engineers might want to consider in more detail how the winds alternate in east-west directions, as their image below shows.

Based on a detailed modeling of previous wind data collected by similar high-altitude deployed balloons, the origin of the QBO is becoming less mysterious. From the data collected from these so-called radiosonde measurements, the origin of this alternation is not according to that proposed by the AGW-denier scientist Richard Lindzen, but via the periodic gravitational pull of the moon, aliased by a seasonal modulation. This is described in a short two-page paper worked out both on this site, and at the collaborative Azimuth Project forum.

The model’s ability in capturing the dynamics of QBO is amazing:

Fig 1: Modeling the second derivative of QBO to lunar tidal periods allows a highly detailed predictive capability.  Training the data on a known set of lunar tidal periods (red interval), forecasts the “out-of-bad” data remarkably well !

This modeling is actually quite trivial and as straightforward as modeling the cyclic behavior of ocean tides, but one has to understand how aliasing works.  That is what  Lindzen apparently missed during his 50 years worth of hapless research efforts.

Besides the importance for this Google project, the QBO has lots of relevance for climate, including predicting storm activity and occurrence of El Ninos.

More on Project Loon

Project Loon balloon
Loon for All – Project Loon

How Loon Works – Project Loon

Project Loon – Wikipedia


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