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The Moon Causes Earth's Atmosphere to "Bulge", Influences Rainfall

| 31 Jan 2016 19:21

The Moon's gravitational forces don't just influence Earth's tides, but the atmosphere and rainfall as well.

Science is well aware the Moon has a significant influence on Earth, specifically our ocean tides. But now a study claims the Moon's power goes beyond that, altering our atmosphere to the point that it reduces rainfall.

"As far as I know, this is the first study to convincingly connect the tidal force of the Moon with rainfall," doctoral student at the University of Washington Tsubasa Kohyama explained.

The study continues previous work of its authors, which detailed how the Moon influences our atmosphere. Whenever the Moon is overhead, its gravity creates a "bulge" in the atmosphere. This latest study suggests such bulges lead to an increase in air pressure, raising the temperature of air parcels below. These changes expand the parcels' moisture capacity, making precipitation less likely.

In short: The Moon existence leads to Earth having less rain.

Now before anyone suggests blowing up the Moon to solve California's water crisis, the change is remarkably small, impacting one percent of total rainfall variation. That said, the research can be applied to climate models to make sure the Moon's gravitational force is account for in our atmosphere. The full study itself can be found in the Geophysical Research Letters journal.

Source: Economic Times

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