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Moon 'wobble,' climate change seen as driving coastal flooding in 2030s

WorldJul 16, 2021 09:10PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Waves at high tide make their way over rocks and onto the road in Oceanside, California, U.S., November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

By Dan Fastenberg

(Reuters) - U.S. coastlines will face increasing flooding in the mid-2030s thanks to a regular lunar cycle that will magnify rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to research led by NASA scientists.

A key factor identified by the scientists is a regular "wobble" in the moon's orbit - first identified in the 18th century - that takes 18.6 years to complete. The moon's gravitational pull helps drive Earth's tides.

In half of this lunar cycle, Earth's regular daily tides are diminished, with high tides lower than usual and low tides higher than usual. In the cycle's other half, the situation is reversed, with high tides higher and low tides lower.

The expected flooding will result from the combination of the continuing sea level rise associated with climate change and the arrival of an amplification part of the lunar cycle in the mid-2030s, the researchers said.

"In the background, we have long-term sea level rise associated with global warming. It's causing sea level to increase everywhere," Ben Hamlington, NASA team leader and one of the study's authors, told Reuters.

"This effect from the moon causes the tides to vary, so what we found is that this effect lines up with the underlying sea level rise, and that will cause flooding specifically in that time period from 2030 to 2040," Hamlington said.

The researchers studied 89 tide gauge locations in every coastal U.S. state and territory aside from Alaska. The effect of the dynamic applies to the entire planet except for far northern coastlines like in Alaska.

The prediction pushes previous estimates for serious coastal flooding forward by about 70 years.

The study, published this month in the journal Nature Climate Change, was led by members of a NASA science team that tracks sea level change. The study focused on U.S. coasts but the findings are applicable to coasts worldwide, NASA said.

"This is eye-opening for a lot of people," Hamlington said. "It's really critical information for planners. And I think there's a great amount of interest in trying to get this information from science and scientists into the hands of planners."

Hamlington said city planners should plan accordingly.

"A building or particular piece of infrastructure, you may want to be there for a very long amount of time, whereas something else you may just want to protect or have access to for a few years."

Moon 'wobble,' climate change seen as driving coastal flooding in 2030s
 

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Comments (15)
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Jul 18, 2021 10:03PM ET
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solution ... nuke the moon
Jouni Matero
Jouni Jul 17, 2021 1:55AM ET
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Unfortunate to see how many ppl still think/claim global warming is just another scam by politicians or russia/china. Just unbelievable. If you just opebed your eyes and went thru all the data concerning about warming development around the world in last 100 years, heat records, dryness, extreme flooding, hurricanes, dryness, extinction of great barrier, etc, etc. But no, all you guys do is play games at home and enjoy your stimulus and think everything's just fine and no need to worry. So sad.
Jouni Matero
Jouni Jul 17, 2021 1:55AM ET
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Just came out (but nothing new, right?) : "Sprawling Oregon wildfire, largest of dozens in U.S., continues to grow" https://www.investing.com/news/general/sprawling-oregon-wildfire-largest-of-dozens-in-us-continues-to-grow-2560618
Aaron Chaff
AayAayRon Jul 17, 2021 1:55AM ET
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Oh shut up. It's obvious you don't know much of anything about climate change. You've been told your whole life it's evil, man-caused and that you're selfish if you ever question.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Jul 17, 2021 1:55AM ET
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Yeah, Jouni. Lots of homoerecti are really sad.
Richie Berg
Richie Berg Jul 16, 2021 11:29PM ET
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And if it doesn't happen in 14 years, will they post a retraction?
one two
one two Jul 16, 2021 11:29PM ET
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they don't have to post any retractions ever when they can drown us in mass misinformation
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Jul 16, 2021 11:17PM ET
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Next decade i am expecting warm days as well as cold days , prepare now
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jul 16, 2021 11:09PM ET
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Seawall construction brings jobs, better surfing, shore fishing will get better, and lower tides are great for walking on the beach & seeing sealife. Can't wait.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jul 16, 2021 11:04PM ET
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Michael Crighton wrote a novel called State of Fear. He wrote the media started up with climate change a few months after the iron curtain fell and Reagan broke Russia, which ended the media's Russian nuclear holocaust state of fear angle. M.A.D. by a superpower will never happen. Media just needed a new gig.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jul 16, 2021 10:59PM ET
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That's what global warming is, a annual cycle. Except its actually northern hemisphere warming. The arctic ice is building up so thick, huge chunks are breaking off.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jul 16, 2021 10:32PM ET
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take out carbon from the atmosphere. dim out the sun. Now what, nuke a fifth of the moon?
carl mars
carl mars Jul 16, 2021 10:25PM ET
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Dang, we better start producing more carbon emissions if the moon wobble is going to end in 18.6 years! That is scary! WE ONLY HAVE 18.6 YEARS UNTIL THE MOON WOBBLE STOPS AND WE HAVE TO RELY ON MAN TO COMPENSATE!!!!! QUICK START USING MORE COAL!!!!!!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 16, 2021 10:22PM ET
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Nobody knows tomorrow.
Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey Jul 16, 2021 9:59PM ET
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So in 10 years when everything is the same as it is today, can we have an apology from all these fear mongers!!!!!!!
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jul 16, 2021 9:59PM ET
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Sooo, not global warming?
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Jul 16, 2021 9:49PM ET
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According to Al Core back in the 90's, the coasts should already be flooded and the effects "unreversible". Meanwhile China still puts out as much as they did 20 years ago. And they want us to believe, they can solve this by taxing us, and not the corporations that "started" this in the first place. Gullible fuqs
charles ck
charles ck Jul 16, 2021 5:27PM ET
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"If we just give the government more money and power, we can stop the moon from wobbling...anybody who disagrees is a science denier". -leftists
Kevin Avila
Kevin Avila Jul 16, 2021 5:27PM ET
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Lmao… best comment! You win Investing.com today sir!
Loudermilktits Loudermilktits
Loudermilktits Jul 16, 2021 5:27PM ET
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Unreversable is not a word
charles ck
charles ck Jul 16, 2021 5:26PM ET
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MSM has openly colluded to push the climate change narrative, but this is ridiculous. When you start using climate change in your headlines when talking about natural phenomena the narrative completely falls apart. The climate has been changing since the formation of this planet, and will continue changing/
 
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