Daily News Analysis

Moon Wobble

19th July, 2021 Geography

Context

  • Sometimes, the moon seems to move in mysterious ways. It is mostly circles and ovals. But there is also something else — a so-called wobble — animating those rotations and revolutions. According to a recent study, the phenomenon is expected to lead to more flooding here on Earth in the middle of the next decade.

 

About

  • 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.

 

 

Impact

  • The moon wobble impacts the gravitational pull of the moon, and therefore, indirectly influences the ebb and flow of tides here on the Earth.
  • Each wobble cycle has the power to amplify and suppress the tides on Earth.
  • One half of the 18.6-year cycle suppresses the tides, which means that the high tides get lower, while the low tides get higher than normal.
  • Once this cycle completes, the situation flips—in the subsequent cycle, the tides are amplified, with high tides getting higher and low tides, lower!
  • The lunar cycle is expected to shift again by mid-2030, and in the coming phase, the tides will amplify once again.

 

Moon wobble and climate change

  • The upcoming changes in the lunar cycle will pose a serious threat, as the amplified high tides coupled with the rising sea levels will make the risk of flooding far greater across all coastal regions of the globe.
  • The study predicts that the high tide-associated floods—also known as nuisance floods or sunny day floods—may occur in clusters that could last for months or even for longer periods!