According to a new study by NASA, till the year 2030, Moon’s Wobble and Climate Fluctuations can lead to Coastal flooding in US. Many coastal cities in the United States will experience an increase in high-tide floods. The team states that a lunar wobble will amplify the rising sea levels caused by the on-going climate change.
Case of 2019- NOAA
In 2019, several US coastal cities have already witnessed high-tide floods, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reporting over 600 such floods. The study, which looked at astronomical causes of flooding, noted that the alignment of rising sea levels with the lunar cycle will cause a dramatic increase in these numbers till year 2030.
Explanation of the Moon’s Wobble
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson explained that-
“The combination of the Moon’s gravitational pull, rising sea levels, and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coastlines and across the world. NASA’s Sea Level Change Team is providing crucial information so that we can plan, protect, and prevent damage to the environment and people’s livelihoods affected by flooding.”
NASA added that the moon’s wobble is not an exclusive or dangerous thing and was first reported in 1728. The statement further read that-
“What’s new is how one of the wobble’s effects on the Moon’s gravitational pull, the main cause of Earth’s tides, will combine with rising sea levels resulting from the planet’s warming.”
The Wobble Cycle
The wobble in the moon’s orbit takes about 18.6 years to complete. In the first half of the cycle, Earth’s regular daily tides are suppressed and in the second half, the tides are amplified.
In the mid-2030s when the moon comes in the tide-amplifying part of the cycle, it will have an effect on the already high global sea level and cause flooding on almost all US mainland coastlines, Hawaii, and Guam.
The Predictions and Conclusion of the Study
Phil Thompson, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii and the lead author of the study, predicted in a release that because high-tide floods involve a small amount of water compared to hurricane storm surges, there’s a tendency to view them as a less significant problem overall.
He said that-
“But if it floods 10 or 15 times a month, a business can’t keep operating with its parking lot under water. People lose their jobs because they can’t get to work. Seeping cesspools become a public health issue.”
Ben Hamlington, a co-author of the research paper, and the leader of NASA’s Sea Level Change Team said that-
“From a planning perspective, it’s important to know when we’ll see an increase. Understanding that all your events are clustered in a particular month, or you might have more severe flooding in the second half of a year than the first – that’s useful information.”