This series contains a number of blog posts that all deal with scientific and historical aspects of the moon.
If you are interested in this strand, please type
‘moon science’ into the search button and read more articles about this fascinating subject.
The effects of the moon on the earth’s climate:
A book written around 330 B.C. by the famous Greek mathematician and explorer Pytheas confirms that the Ancient Greeks knew already that the formation of ocean tides are influenced by the moon. But these were pure observations and the actual scientific explanation remained a mystery until Sir Isaac Newton discovered the ‘Law of Universal Gravitation’ in the 17th century.
Today the tides are still the most conspicuous evidence of the moon’s gravitational pull. During the course of a 24 hour period, usually two high and two low tides take place. The exact timing is not static, but changes each day, depending on the moon’s path around the earth. In addition, the altitude of the tidal difference also alters from place to place. For some locations this variation is slight, amounting to just a few centimetres. But in other parts of the world, for instance the Bay of Fundy in Canada, this difference can be highly significant and measure up to a total of 15 meters or more. Making each tide the equivalent height of a four-storey building.
Have a look at this video – The effects of the moon on the earth’s climate. It shows how interlinked the moon cycle is with the world’s climate. Without the moon’s natural gravitation our world would look like a very different place indeed!