EnvironmentMoon 'wobble' could usher record flooding: study

Moon ‘wobble’ could usher record flooding: study

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Kolkata, India: Impending changes in the moon’s orbit, along with rising ocean levels, might result in record coastal flooding along the United States’ coasts in the next decade, according to a NASA-University of Hawaii study.

According to a study published last month in the scientific journal Nature Climate Alteration by the NASA Sea, Level Change Team at the University of Hawaii, a regularly occurring change in the moon’s orbit around the earth will raise ocean water levels along U.S. shorelines.

The so-called “wobble” in the moon’s orbit, according to NASA researchers, is part of an 18.6-year cycle that dates back to 1728.

The moon causes lower high tides and higher low tides for half of the cycle than higher high tides and even lower low tides during the other half.

The phenomenon is predicted to peak in the mid-2030s, at a time when coastal flooding is on the rise as a result of rising sea levels linked to climate change.

The United States saw unprecedented levels of coastal flooding last year, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday.

Flooding at high tide, often known as “nuisance” or “sunny day” flooding, occurs frequently in many coastal cities as water sloshes into streets, yards, and businesses, according to NOAA.

However, the organization claims that from May 2020 to April 2021, coastal areas in the United States saw twice as many high tide flooding days as they did 20 years ago.

The near-record high tides are expected to continue until April 2022, as well as for decades to come, according to scientists.

The combination of the moon’s orbit wobble and rising sea levels, according to NOAA oceanographer and NASA study author William Sweet, is a “sort of double-whammy” that means coastal communities will face even more flooding in the coming years than they would otherwise unless they adapt and fortify their shorelines.

Communities and urban planners, according to NASA’s Sea Level Change team leader Ben Hamlington, must prepare for more intense flooding in the future.

With Voice of America inputs.

Debayan Paul
Debayan is a freelance digital reporter and Editor-in-chief of We The World Magazine. Contact: communications@wetheworldmagazine.com

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