Legend holds that the Moon influences everything from star-crossed lovers to hoary werewolves. Now scientists have discovered that moombeams influence the Earth as well as earthlings by subtly raising global average temperatures.
Using a newly available data set of lower tropospheric temperatures obtained from a series of polar-orbiting satellites, climatologists Robert C. Balling Jr. and Randall S. Cerveny of Arizona State University have demonstrated a link between the lunar phase of the Moon and average daily planetary temperatures during the past 15 years. The temperatures were determined on the basis of measurements of microwave emissions of molecular oxygen. In the past, scientists have shown correlations between lunar phase change and various natural phenomena, including changes in precipitation, thunderstorm frequency, concentration of ice nuclei, pressure changes, and cloudiness.