When we go to the beach, there’s something mesmerizing about watching the waves crash on the shore. We watch the waves go in and back out again. We stand at the edge of the water line and wait for the water to tickle our toes.

At low tide, we look for seashells and explore tide pools. At high tide, we grab out beach blanket and pull it back to dry sand as we watch the waves wash away sand castles that were built too close to the water’s edge.

While the tide is a part of life that we often enjoy watching, high tide can do a lot more damage than getting our beach towels wet and washing away sand castles. When the tide is too high, it can cause flooding, and according to a study led by members of NASA Sea Level Change Team, there will most likely be a lot of floods in coastal locations in the 2030s. That’s less than a decade away.

According to the study, the moon’s orbit is due to “wobble.” This is expected and nothing to worry about, but the “wobble” will most likely cause high tides to be even higher than usual.

NASA Sea Level Change Team leader Ben Hamlington explained, “We’re getting closer and closer to the flooding thresholds or tipping point in these coastal locations. The same variability in the past that didn’t cause flooding is now going to cause flooding.”

The floods will most likely last a long time too. Think, months of flooding. What will happen really depends on the position of the sun, moon and Earth.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson added, “Low-lying areas near sea level are increasingly at risk and suffering due to the increased flooding, and it will only get worse. The combination of the moon’s gravitational pull, rising sea levels and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coastlines and across the world.”

Flooding is not a new concept in coastal cities, and urban planners have started to plan for the potential floods that we may see in the next decade or so. Yet, the study’s predictions might mean that floods come before there is time to fully prepare for them.

Watch the video below for more details about how the moon’s “wobble” may cause flooding.

 

Do you live in a coastal city? Have you ever been caught in a flood? Does it surprise you that there may be months-long floods in the next decade?