The Moon has a strange effect on the Earth

Scientists recently announced that the Moon plays an important role in the amount of gas released on Earth.

It all has to do with the tides and gravity of the Moon, a phenomenon that we can quantify. By placing a measuring instrument in the Arctic Ocean for four days and nights, the researchers were able to measure changes in temperature and pressure over time.

What the researchers found was that the presence of methane near the seafloor increased and decreased with the tides, which is an important contributor to methane release, and one that drives changes in the climate. climate change that we are witnessing now and in the future.

The Moon has a strange effect on the Earth
The presence of methane near the seafloor increases and decreases with the tides.

“We found that the gas that accumulates in the sediment 1 meter above the seafloor is very vulnerable to small pressure changes,” said marine geophysicist Andreia Plaza-Faverola from Norway’s Tromsø University. in the water column. Low tide means less hydrostatic pressure and higher intensity of methane release. High tide equates to higher pressure and lower discharge intensity.”

These methane leaks in the Arctic Ocean have been going on for thousands of years, caused by factors such as seismic and volcanic activity, but much remains to be learned about the mechanism that causes these leaks and affect its speed.

That’s where the Moon and tides come in. Tides can be used as a way to predict how much gas is escaping from the Arctic Ocean from day to day, even when tidal elevation changes by less than 1 meter, researchers say.

One of the takeaways is that emissions from the seafloor are more widespread than data from conventional sonar surveys suggest. We may have underestimated how much gas the Arctic is leaking at the moment even if it weren’t releasing at the same time.

“Systems on Earth are connected to each other in ways that we are still deciphering. Our study shows one such connection in the Arctic. The moon causes tidal forces, Tides create changes in pressure and bottom currents that in turn form the seafloor, impacting methane emissions,” said Plaza-Faverola.

The study also raises the possibility that rising sea levels could counteract the release of methane from the oceans because greater water pressure causes the gas to be trapped longer. That’s just one of many factors scientists have to consider.

Next, the researchers wanted to collect more data over a longer period of time to see how tidal changes affect methane release throughout the region, from areas of water as deep as this to shallow water areas where the effect of tidal changes on gas release can be even greater.

While tidal changes have been linked to past methane emissions, the geography of this study and the fluctuations observed by small differences in pressure make it an ideal spot. important new information for future climate change modeling.

“This is the first time this observation has been made in the Arctic Ocean,” said marine geologist Jochen Knies. “It means that small pressure changes can release significant amounts of methane.”