The earth's ocean tides are primarily driven by the moon, but also by the sun. The relative strengths of the related tidal constituents varies from place to place across the globe. But what is the proportion of the energy entering the global system from each?


1 Answer 1


From [1, 2], the oceans are dissipating about 3.5 TW of energy. The moon and sun input about 3.2 TW and 0.5 TW, respectively. (0.2 TW of the 3.7 TW are dissipated by the solid Earth and the atmosphere.) Another estimate of tidal energy dissipation [3], looking at the 8 major tidal constituents, estimates 0.411 TW of solar tides dissipated by the ocean. (With an additional 0.03 TW dissipated by a moon-sun interaction constituent.)

[1]: Munk and Wunsch, 1998, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(98)00070-3

[2]: Jayne and Laurent, 2001, https://doi.org/10.1029/2000GL012044

[3]: Egbert and Ray, 2003, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GL017676


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