August 28th, 2008 by Joshua S Hill
Ever found yourself making it to the end of a week, hoping for a sunny weekend in which to lie outside or head to the beach or do some gardening, only to wake up on Saturday morning to overcast skies? I bet it’s happened before, probably more than once.
Well it seems that, according to Spanish researchers, this may not be Gods attempt at humor, but rather our own doing.
Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo of the University of Barcelona, Spain, and his colleagues have published their theory in the latest edition of Geophysical Research Letters. They say that they have found evidence in Western Europe that the weather actually does cycle according to weekdays and weekends.
In the abstract for their report, the authors note: “we suggest that the weekly cycles may be related with changes in the atmospheric circulation … which may be due to some indirect effect of anthropogenic aerosols.”
These results do not come without a measure of believability. Given that more of us are travelling and busying ourselves during the week, than on the weekend, lends itself to greater influences on the weather. We already know that airborne pollutants that humans are responsible for affect the weather. For example, pollutant particles can be heated in the air, warming the surrounding atmosphere, and changing the weather patterns. This would not occur if humans were not there to introduce those exotic particles.
The results however are puzzling. No such examples of this have been found in the USA or Asia, and the cycles are dependent upon the season as well; in winter more rain will fall during weekdays than on a weekday, while in summer the opposite occurs, though less pronounced.
“This whole enterprise of looking for weekly cycles is rife with possibilities for misleading oneself,” said Thomas Bell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
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