Scientists say “moon wobble” will create extreme floods in 2030s

moon wobble, floods
© Wai Chung

According to a study by the University of Hawaii, a natural “moon wobble” will create extreme flooding for US coastal regions in the mid-2030s

Every 18.6 years, the orbit of the moon experiences a natural “wobble” – which impacts the Earth’s oceans.

This study, a collaboration between NASA and The University of Hawaii, looks at the unique mix of this tide-changing “moon wobble” during a time of extremely high water levels due to climate change.

‘Many events will cluster together in time’

The study predicts that high-tide flooding (HTF) will hit the coastal regions of the United States, mid-2030.

It further states that: “It is important to communicate to decision-makers that changes in HTF frequency will not be incremental in the coming decades but will include acute inflections in the rate of increase punctuated by extreme months and seasons during which many events will cluster together in time.”

Essentially, these changes are not going to be gradual. They will hit the coastal areas with extremity, one after the other – which means that significant resources will have to be prepared.

Which places in the US will be hit with more floods?

According to the data, the researchers explain that cities along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines will face a sudden, quick increase in floods when the mid-2030s hit.

Their calculations lead them to believe that 71% of Pacific Island, California and Gulf of Mexico locations will experience atleast three times as many flood days per year. There is a strong chance that flooding will quadruple too – but it is too soon to tell which scenario will play out.

This period of extreme flooding is expected to last for ten years.

The team believe that 30 of the extreme flooding events will happen in a period of three months, from October to December – after the “moon wobble” triggers them.

Read the full study here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here