According to research conducted by Nasa scientists, US coastlines will witness extensive flooding by the mid-2030s. The regular lunar cycle will magnify the increased sea level caused by climate change.
Further, a key factor observed by the scientist is a regular “wobble” in the moon’s orbit which was first identified in the 18th century, that takes around 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 tide is dismissed, with the high tides lower than the usual and on the other hand low tides higher than the usual. In the other half of the cycle, the phenomenon is just vice versa, with the high tides higher and the low tides lower.
According to the researchers, the expected flooding will result from the combination of the continuing sea level associated with climate change and the arrival of amplification part of the lunar cycle in the mid-2030s.
Ben Hamlington, leader of the Nasa team and one of the study’s authors stated to ‘Reuters’, “In the background, we have long term sea-level rise associated with global warming. It’s causing the sea level to increase everywhere.”
Furthermore, he added, “This effect from the moon causes 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 2030 to 2040.”
The researchers too studied 89 tide gauge locations in all the coastal US states and the territory aside from Alaska. The effect of the dynamic concerns the entire planet leaving the far northern coastlines such as Alaska.
The prediction advances the previous estimates regarding the coastline flooding ahead by around 70 years.
The above study got published this month in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study was carried out by the members of the Nasa science team that tracks the sea levels changes. The study aims at the US coasts, however, the results are applicable to every coast worldwide, Nasa affirms.
Ben Hamlington narrates, “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.” He further stated that the city planners should formulate the plans accordingly.