Moons wobble, rise in sea levels will lead to record flooding in the upcoming decade, says NASA
While global climate change has been a cause of extreme weather conditions for the last few years, a new study has found out that a ‘wobble‘ in Moon’s orbit combined with rising sea levels will lead to erratic and devastating coastal floods by 2030s.
The conclusion, which was published in the Nature Climate Change journal by NASA Sea Level Change Science Team from the University of Hawaii, has to do with the moon’s orbit, which takes 18.6 years to complete according to NASA.
For half of that time period, Earth’s regular daily tides are suppressed with high tides at a low average and low tides happening at a higher rate. In the other half of the cycle, the opposite occurs.
“High tides get higher, and low tides get lower. Global sea-level rise pushes high tides in only one direction – higher. So half of the 18.6-year lunar cycle counteracts the effect of sea-level rise on high tides, and the the other half increases the effect,” NASA explains,
The researchers have found that we are currently in the tide-amplifying part of the cycle; the next tide-amplifying cycle begins in the mid-2030s.
These flooding evenrs currently occur in coastal areas when the tide reaches about two feet above the daily average high tide. While the coastal US currently deals with just two or three floods a month, the frequency will soon increase three to four times in the coastline, as reported by Live Science.
If there is no planning done,such events will cause major disruptions to lives and livelihood.
“It’s the accumulated effect over time that will have an impact”, lead study author Phil Thompsonan assistant professor at the University of Hawaii said.“If it floods 10 to 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. Sleeping cesspols become a public health issue”,he further added.
“Low-lying areas near sea level are increasingly at risk and suffering due to the increased flooding,and it will only get warse”, said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.
“The combination of the Moon’s gravitational pull, rising sea level, and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coastlines and across the world”,he added.
NASA hopes the release of their findings will help potentially impacted cities take measures in order to prevent too much damage.