The wobble of the moon is blamed for the death of tens of millions of trees on Earth in a new scientific discovery

THE moon destroyed a forest on Earth by simply wobbling, according to a new study.

The theory solves a 2015 mystery that saw tens of millions of mangroves die off in Australia.

The moon is known to wobble in its orbit, but its effects on Earth are less well known

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The moon is known to wobble in its orbit, but its effects on Earth are less well understoodCredit: Alamy

The dead trees accounted for almost 10% of the forest along the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia.

The mysterious forest dieback was initially attributed to something called El Niño.

El Niño describes a weather phase in which the surface water of the ocean in the equatorial Pacific becomes significantly warmer than usual.

A strong El Niño can lower tides in the region where the trees were dying, which is how the suspicious event was originally blamed.

However, a new study has found that around the time of the mangrove mass extinction, the moon wobbled and also affected the tides.

This meant that seawater was being withdrawn from the mangroves, which depend on them for gaining freshwater.

The research was published in the journal scientific advances and discusses the well-known wobble of the moon and its lesser-known effects.

We know that the moon’s gravitational pull affects tidal forces on earth.

The moon is said to wobble on an 18.6-year cycle as it orbits our planet, and that changes its position relative to Earth very slightly.

This slight change can increase or suppress tides depending on where the moon is in its cycle, according to Nasa.

The researchers wrote: “We show that the 18.61-year lunar cycle, popularly referred to as the ‘lunar wobble’, exerts a dominant control over the expansion and contraction of mangrove cover over much of the Australian continent.

“Furthermore, the opposite phasing of the 18.61-year lunar cycle between daily and semi-diurnal tidal settings has mediated the severity of drought impacts in northern bioregions.”

The researchers used 30 years of national satellite data to conduct their research and correlate the moon’s behavior with mass tree die-offs.

This helped them see a pattern of trees dying every 18 to 19 years, consistent with the timeline of the moon’s motion.

The researchers now want to find out whether the lunar tumble affects mangrove forests in other parts of the world.

The next tidal-boosting part of the lunar cycle is expected to occur in the mid-2030s.

https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/9834439/moon-wobble-kills-trees-earth/ The wobble of the moon is blamed for the death of tens of millions of trees on Earth in a new scientific discovery

Fry Electronics Team

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