The Moon “Wobbles”, Rising Seas Cause Flooding: NASA Study

The Moon “Wobbles”, Rising Seas Cause Flooding: NASA Study

The coming natural changes in the orbit of the Moon – a so-called “oscillation” of the Moon – coupled with the rise in sea level caused by climate change could lead to record flooding on Earth in the years to come, a recent study by the US space agency NASA and the University of Hawaii found.
Record flooding is expected to begin in the 2030s and last for 10 years, according to the study, which focused on the effect of the phenomenon in the United States.

There were 600 high tide flooding in the United States in 2019, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This number is expected to increase several times in the 2030s, according to the study published in Nature Climate magazine. The floods are expected to occur in clusters that could last a month or more.

While the high-tide flooding in question involves less water and is often considered less damaging than flooding caused by hurricane waves, “it is the effect accumulated over time that will have an impact.” Phil Thompson, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

“If there are 10 or 15 floods per month, a business cannot continue to operate with its parking lot underwater. People are losing their jobs because they cannot get to work, ”he said. “Weeping sumps are becoming a public health problem. “

The so-called “oscillation” of the Moon is not a new phenomenon. It was first reported in 1728 and is part of an 18.6 year natural cycle. During the first half of the cycle, the regular tides of the Earth are suppressed. During the second half, the tides picked up, according to NASA.

The Moon is currently in the amplifying half of its cycle, already causing an increase in flooding along many coasts, due to the high sea level caused by climate change, according to NASA.

Another decade of sea level rise will have serious consequences when the Moon is again in the amplifying half of its cycle, the researchers found, leading to increased flooding on all of the continental United States. , Hawaii and Guam and sparing only the coasts of the extreme north like Alaska. .

Researchers studied 89 tide gauge locations in coastal regions of U.S. states and territories, astronomical cycles, and the likelihood of tidal phenomena to make the projections, which extend through 2080.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement that the research was crucial in helping coastal areas prepare for a more flooded future.

“The combination of the Moon’s gravitational pull, sea level rise and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coasts and across the world,” he said.

“The NASA Sea Level Change Team provides crucial information so that we can plan, protect and prevent damage to the environment and to the livelihoods of people affected by the floods. ”


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