The lunar cycle and climate change could strike the entire US coast in a few years.
Climate change has already increased the frequency and severity of hurricanes and other extreme weather events around the world. Scientists recently discovered that there is another threat on the horizon that could wreak havoc on the American coast.
There were over 600 tidal floods in the U.S. in 2019, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A new study by NASA has shown that such disasters will occur in the United States much more often by the 2030s.
A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that additional flood days would not be evenly distributed throughout the year. Coastal areas that experience two to three floods a month expect more than 12 such events in 30 days.
The researchers warn that these extended seasons of coastal flooding will affect people’s lives. They could lose their livelihood if the authorities do not start flood planning now.
The projected increase in the number of flood days is due to several factors.
First, the rise in sea levels. As global warming warms the atmosphere, glacial ice is melting at a record rate, dumping huge amounts of melt water into the ocean. As a result, according to NOAA, the average world sea level has risen by a quarter of a meter since 1880. By 2100, sea levels could rise from 0.3 m to 2.5 m above the 2000 level.
While sea level rise will itself increase the frequency of floods, there is another factor that will affect the situation.
The moon influences the ebb and flow, but gravity is not the same from year to year. Its oscillation in orbit changes its position relative to the Earth in a rhythmic 18.6-year cycle. For half a cycle, the Moon suppresses the tides on Earth, resulting in lower tides and higher ebb tides. According to NASA, in the second half of the cycle, the tides intensify with higher tides and lower ebb tides.
The next cycle of increased tides begins in the mid-2030s. By then, global sea levels will rise enough to make these high tides particularly devastating.