Moon Wobble Effect

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 29, 2022, 12:39

The Moon Wobble Effect has been known for centuries. It is a regular oscillation that occurs in the moon's orbit and is known to be one of the factors that cause rising sea levels on earth.

With the worsening effects of climate change faced today, the next phase of the moon wobble is bound to amplify, resulting in increased flooding.

Let's understand what causes the Moon Wobble Effect and how it will impact the Earth in the coming years

What is Moon Wobble Effect?

Just as the name suggests, the Moon Wobble Effect occurs when the moon wobbles or sways in the moon's orbit. The phenomenon is a regular oscillation in the moon's orbit that takes 18.6 years to complete.

The wobble occurs due to the fluctuations and changes in the moon's elliptical orbit. This further results in a gravitational pull on the Earth that drives tides.

The moon wobble is not a recent discovery. The phenomenon was first acknowledged in the early 18th century.

Significance of the Moon Wobble Effect

As per a NASA study, the Moon Wobble Effect influences the geography and weather on Earth in the following way

  • The wobble' impacts the gravitational pull of the moon on Earth. This further influences the ebb and flow of tides. Each wobble is known to exacerbate and suppress the tides on Earth.
  • As per the study, during half of the 18.6-year cycle of the wobble,' the tides on Earth suppress. This means that the high tides become lower, and the low tides become higher than normal. After the half-cycle, the situation tends to reverse; the tides amplify, i.e., the high tides get higher, and the low tides get lower.
  • Lastly, by mid-2030, the lunar cycle is expected to change, and in the upcoming phase, the Moon Wobble Effect is bound to amplify, resulting in high tides on Earth.
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Moon Wobble Effect - Adverse Effects of Climate Change

The disastrous floods experienced in Belgium, Germany, and other parts of Europe in 2021 and the years before stressed the need to study the impact of the Moon Wobble Effect in the coming years.

Based on a study released by NASA, the changes in the lunar cycle that are bound to occur in the next phase will cause rising sea levels, resulting in flooding in coastal regions.

The ocean levels are rising, and so are the temperatures because of the hazardous greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. This poses a more significant risk of floods in the future. Additionally, apart from global warming, the NASA study reveals that the variable of moon wobble is expected to amplify high tides in the middle of the 2030s.

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FAQs on Moon Wobble Effect

Q.1. What is the Moon Wobble Effect?

Moon Wobble Effect is a regular oscillation in the moon's orbit that takes 18.6 years to complete. The swaying or wobble is caused due to fluctuations in the moon's elliptical orbit.

Q.2. Is the Moon Wobble Effect a recent discovery?

No, the wobbling' of the moon has been known for centuries. Moon Wobble Effect was first documented in 1728.

Q.3. How does the Moon Wobble Effect impact life on Earth?

The fluctuations in the moon's orbit cause the Moon Wobble Effect. One of its major impacts is the moon's gravitational pull which greatly influences the tidal ebb and flow on the Earth. This either amplifies or suppresses the sea levels.

Q.4. Does climate change affect the Moon Wobble Effect?

The temperature and sea levels rise due to greenhouse effects and climate change. A NASA study predicts that in the 2030s, the flooding will be more severe due to the Moon Wobble Effect.

Q.5. Why does the moon wobble in the Moon Wobble Effect?

The moon wobbles' in the Moon Wobble Effect because of the fluctuations and changes in the elliptical moon orbit.