What is the moon wobble?
The moon wobble is nothing but a regular swaying in the moon's orbit. It was first documented way back in 1728. This wobble takes over an 18.6-year period to complete, and continues in a cyclic fashion. The Weather ChannelSci-Simplified: What Is the Moon Wobble, and How It Could Lead to Disastrous Floods in World's Coastal Regions | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com
When will the moon wobble?
The moon is currently in the tide-amplifying part of its 18.6-year wobble, in 2021. But most U.S. coastlines have not yet seen enough sea-level rise to notice the flooding effects. nbcphiladelphia.comMoon ‘Wobble' in 2030s Will Increase High Tide Flooding in NJ, Del. Shore Towns
How often does the moon wobble?
Because of that, the path of the moon's orbit seems to fluctuate over time, completing a full cycle — sometimes referred to as a nodal cycle — every 18.6 years. “It happens on such a slow scale,” said Benjamin D. Hamlington, a co-author of the paper who leads the Sea Level Change Team at NASA. The New York TimesHow the Moon ‘Wobble’ Affects Rising Tides and Flooding
By the mid-2030s, scientists project that there could be a “rapid” increase in the frequency of high-tide flooding in several parts of the country, according to the report published last month in the Nature Climate Change journal by the NASA Sea Level Change Team at the University of Hawaii.
The increase in flooding is caused in part by the moon’s “wobble.” As it orbits Earth, the satellite’s angle relative to the equator changes over time. This phenomenon — spanning an 18.6-year period — influences how tides ebb and flow.
One half of this cycle subdues tides, making the high tides lower and the low tides higher. The second half amplifies them.
This latter part, combined with sea-level rise — a product of climate change — is what will lead to greater flooding in the next two decades, the study concludes.
To explain this phenomenon, one of the report’s authors, Gary Mitchum — associate dean at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science — likened it to a person flapping at water inside of a bathtub. While the liquid may not immediately overflow, the probability rises when more water is added.
“The little wave is the tide and the amount of water in the bathtub is sea-level rise,” Mitchum said. “The two are completely unrelated. But the combination of the two means that you’re liable to get sloshing out of your bathtub more often when you have sea-level rise and you have a bigger wave.”
According to the study, the most pronounced effects of this combination will be seen during the mid-2030s and into the 2040s, when the lunar cycle shifts again. However, some of the impacts are already being felt.
“It’s already occurring now, and they’re likely to continue to worsen as time goes on,” Sweet said.
Water spilling into communities from tidal effects is often thought of as a nuisance and happens regularly in coastal cities. Yet, a NOAA report published Wednesday notes tidal floods are increasing.
From May 2020 to April 2021, some cities along the Southeast Atlantic and Gulf coasts have either set or tied records for the amount of high-tide flooding — with Corpus Christi and Galveston in Texas and Bay St. Louis-Waveland, Miss., experiencing more than 20 days of flooding, according to NOAA.
The uptick in flooding caused by high tides is a trend that is expected to continue, according to the NOAA report. By 2030, seven to 15 days of such flooding is expected nationally. Two decades later, estimates indicate that there could be an average of 25 to 75 days a year.
These floods are much more than a minor inconvenience, said Phil Thompson, director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center, who was also part of the study.
“You might have a situation where a business might have its parking lot flooded 10 or 15 times in a month — that’s not a nuisance any longer. That’s a significant economic impact on that person,” Thompson said. “It’s really the accumulated impact of many small, seemingly minor issues. But when a minor issue occurs chronically, it becomes a bigger problem.”
While the predictions appear grim — with researchers saying not much can be done to change their estimates for the next few years — there are some measures that can be taken, said Ben Hamlington, NASA Sea Level Change Team’s lead.
In the short term, local communities have to adapt to changing environmental conditions and limit the impacts of sea-level rise. In the long-term, he said the global community must find ways to mitigate climate change.
“The goal needs to be to try to limit global warming and keep the sea-level rise that we see as low-level as possible — for instance, by reducing our emissions — in order to reduce some of these impacts,” Hamlington said. “So there are these bigger global discussions that play a very important role here.”
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18 July, 2021 - 10:01am
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A new study led by members of the NASA Sea Level Change Science Team from the University of Hawaii shows that high tides will exceed known flooding thresholds around the US more often. In a warning, the study says that in the mid-2030s, every US coast will experience rapidly increasing high tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change.
High tide flooding — flooding that leads to public inconveniences such as road closures — is increasingly common as coastal sea levels rise. As the relative sea-level increases, it no longer takes a strong storm or a hurricane to cause coastal flooding. Flooding now occurs with high tides in many locations due to climate-related sea-level rise, land subsidence, and the loss of natural barriers.
High-tide floods – also called nuisance floods or sunny day floods – are already a familiar problem in many cities on the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a total of more than 600 such floods in 2019.
According to NOAA, the effects of rising sea levels along most of the continental US coastline are expected to become more noticeable and much more severe in the coming decades, likely more so than any other climate-change-related factor. Any acceleration in sea level rise that is predicted to occur this century will further intensify high tide flooding impacts over time, and will further reduce the time between flood events.
Starting in the mid-2030s, however, the alignment of rising sea levels with a lunar cycle will cause coastal cities all around the US to begin a decade of dramatic increases in flood numbers, according to the first study that takes into account all known oceanic and astronomical causes for floods.
The study further says that the floods will sometimes occur in clusters lasting a month or longer, depending on the positions of the moon, earth, and the sun. When the moon and earth line up in specific ways with each other and the sun, the resulting gravitational pull and the ocean’s corresponding response may leave city-dwellers coping with floods every day or two.
“Low-lying areas near sea level are increasingly at risk and suffering due to the increased flooding, and it will only get worse,” the study quoted NASA Administrator Bill Nelson as saying.
“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.”
“It’s the accumulated effect over time that will have an impact,” said Phil Thompson, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii and the lead author of the new study, published this month in Nature Climate Change.
Although high tide floods involve a small amount of water compared to hurricane storm surges, it cannot be ignored as 10-15 floods a month will affect businesses and health.
Despite the moon being in the tide-amplifying part of its cycle now, along most US coastlines, sea levels have not risen so much that even with this lunar assist, high tides cause regular flooding. There is a fear that it will be a different story altogether the next time the cycle comes around to amplify tides again in the mid-2030s.
There is a concern that a leap in flood numbers on almost all US mainland coastlines, Hawaii and Guam. Perhaps the far northern coastlines, including Alaska’s, will be spared for another decade or longer.
NASA calls the moon “wobble” is a cyclical shift in the moon’s orbit that can lead to coastal flooding in the 2030s. It was first reported in 1728 and happens every 18.6 years. This slow fluctuation either suppresses or amplifies tides on our planet.
“In half of the Moon’s 18.6-year cycle, earth’s regular daily tides are suppressed: High tides are lower than normal, and low tides are higher than normal,” NASA said.
“In the other half of the cycle, tides are amplified: 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 other half increases the effect.”
While in half of the Moon’s 18.6-year cycle, the earth’s regular daily tides are suppressed: High tides are lower than normal, and low tides are higher than normal, in the other half of the cycle, tides are amplified: High tides get higher, and low tides get lower.
The 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 other half increases the effect, the study said.
The researchers reached the conclusion by studying 89 tide gauge locations in every coastal US state and territory but Alaska.
The team created a new statistical framework that mapped NOAA’s widely used sea-level rise scenarios and flooding thresholds, the number of times those thresholds have been exceeded annually, astronomical cycles, and statistical representations of other processes, such as El Niño events, that are known to affect tides, a NASA report said. They projected results up to 2080.
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18 July, 2021 - 10:01am
18 July, 2021 - 10:01am
18 July, 2021 - 10:01am
The moon exerts a profound influence on the Earth’s tides. This effect waxes and wanes over time due to peculiarities in its orbit. For example, the Moon moves around on its axis, rather like a wobbling spinning top.
These and other factors mean that every 18.6 years the Moon has an increasing effect on the Earth’s tides. We are currently within one of these increasing effect periods, with the next one due in the middle of the 2030s.
The moon’s “wobble” will increase the heights of high tides and cause tidal flooding, in which low-lying areas are temporarily underwater. This flooding is sometimes called “nuisance flooding” as it doesn’t represent any immediate threat to life.
But its cumulative impacts can be devastating. Tidal flooding can engulf roads and rail tracks. It can surge into drains and swamp buildings with raw sewage. Cleaning up can take months and be financially ruinous. Despite such flooding rarely making national headlines, it may already be more expensive than flash flooding that results from extreme rainfall.
One reason for the recent increase in tidal flooding costs is continued development in tidal flood-prone areas such as the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Another is global heating through our profligate use of fossil fuels.
This means that the moon’s amplification of tides in the 2030s will be combined with planetary-scale changes that we are responsible for. We have now warmed the planet by 1.2°C since the pre-industrial period. This heat is causing sea levels to rise. Thus far that is mostly the result of thermal expansion – water increases in volume as it increases in temperature.
Now being added to that is the disintegration of the Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets. All this means global sea levels could be around 10cm higher when the Moon enters its next tide-amplifying period around the middle of the 2030s.
Many places that currently struggle with tidal flooding will, in the absence of expensive protection schemes, simply become inhabitable. The Nasa study focussed on the US but its findings are of global importance.
Over 630 million people live in low-lying coastal areas that are at risk from coastal flooding. Two-thirds of the world’s largest cities at least partially occupy low-lying coastal areas. Higher sea levels mean more people will be exposed to more flooding.
Now add increased flooding from extreme rainfall, more devastating wildfires, crippling droughts, and lethal heatwaves, and you can begin to see the outlines of global climate breakdown.
For example, the deadly heat in North America this year gives us a glimpse of our future. We will have to adapt to these and other changes over the rest of the century. But adaptation can only go so far.
If we are to have any long-term future on our home planet we must stop burning fossil fuels.
15 July, 2021 - 03:48pm
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The study, published in Nature Climate Change and led by members of the NASA Sea Level Change Team from the University of Hawaii, found that high-tide flooding could occur across every U.S. coast by the mid-2030s. According to NASA, high-tide flooding is already a problem for cities in the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reporting over 600 of these types of floods in 2019 alone. Beginning in the 2030s, rising sea levels will align with a moon wobble, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding.
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15 July, 2021 - 06:45am
The moon’s wobbling was first reported back in 1728. While it takes nearly 19 years to fully complete a single wobble, it affects its gravitational pull on the Earth and subsequently, our tides and the behaviour of sea levels across the globe.
Halfway through the wobble cycle, high tides are lower than normal and low tides are higher than normal. However, we’re now in the latter half – the tide-amplifying stage, with global sea levels rising higher and higher, made worse by global warming already increasing sea levels.
In 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded more than 600 high-tide floods across the US.
While high tides are approaching flooding thresholds at the moment, ‘it will be a different story the next time the cycle comes around to amplify tides again’ in the next decade, NASA said.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson warned that it’s the low-lying areas near sea level becoming ‘increasingly at risk and suffering due to the increased flooding, and it will only get worse… 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’.
While the results of the study may be a bit frightening, it’s a tremendous resource for urban planners who’ll now be able to plan for floods and other extreme events.