Moon 'wobble' could lead to disastrous floods on the U.S. coasts: Study

The Moon rises over the Mojave Desert before becoming a so-called "super blue blood moon" when it becomes totally eclipsed before dawn, on January 31, 2018 near Amboy, California.
The Moon rises over the Mojave Desert before becoming a so-called "super blue blood moon" when it becomes totally eclipsed before dawn, on January 31, 2018 near Amboy, California. Photo credit David McNew/Getty Images
By , KCBS Radio

Every coast in the country is facing rapidly increasing high tide floods. According to research by NASA, this is due to a "wobble" in the moon's orbit along with climate change-related rising sea levels.

The new study from NASA and the University of Hawaii, published in early July, warns that upcoming changes in the moon's orbit could lead to record flooding on Earth in the next decade.

Listen to your favorite News/Talk station now on Audacy

Researchers found flooding in American coastal cities could be multiplied in the 2030s, when the next moon "wobble" is expected to happen. They expect the flooding to significantly damage infrastructure and displace communities.

The wobble is nothing new. First reported in 1728, it’s only become more dangerous now as climate change has affected sea levels.

"In half of the Moon's 18.6-year cycle, Earth's regular daily tides are suppressed: High tides are lower than normal, and low tides are higher than normal," NASA wrote. "In the other half of the cycle, tides are amplified: High tides get higher, and low tides get lower. Global sea-level rise pushes high tides in only one direction – higher. So half of the 18.6-year lunar cycle counteracts the effect of sea-level rise on high tides, and the other half increases the effect."

But it’s different now. NOAA reported more than 600 such floods in 2019. Scientists are expecting three to four times that amount in the mid-2030s, after sea-level rise has another decade to progress.

According to the study, floods could happen as frequently as every day or every other day.

Almost all U.S. mainland coastlines, Hawaii and Guam are expected to face these effects.

Researchers are hoping their findings will be a call to action to initiate plans to preserve and protect areas now before the flooding begins.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram