Moon’s Wobble Effect
Part of: GS Prelims and GS III – Sci and Tech
In news Recently, NASA has highlighted Moon’s Wobble as a potential problem in the near future.
What is the Moon’s Wobble?
- When the Moon makes its elliptical orbit, its velocity varies and alters causing our perspective of the “light side” to appear at slightly different angles. This is what it calls the Moon’s wobble or that is how it appears to our eyes.
- It is a cyclical shift in the moon’s orbit, it is a regular swaying (Oscillation) in the moon’s orbit.
- It was first documented way back in 1728. This wobble takes over an 18.6-year period to complete. It acts as a background of sea level rise.
What is the Impact of Wobble on Earth?
- The moon wobble impacts the gravitational pull of the moon, and therefore, indirectly influences the ebb and flow of tides on the Earth.
- Each wobble cycle has the power to amplify and suppress the tides on Earth.
- During half of the Moon’s orbit of 18.6 years, the Earth’s regular tides are suppressed i.e. high tides are lower than normal and low tides higher than normal (Current situation).
- In the other half, the effect is reversed, which is called the tide-amplifying phase of the Moon.
What are the Related Concerns?
- The lunar cycle is expected to shift again by mid-2030, and in the coming phase, the tides will amplify once again.
- 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.
- It raises the baseline, and the more the baseline is raised, the smaller the weather event to cause flooding.
- 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.
- This surge will be closely associated with the position of the Moon, Earth and the Sun.
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