Most people pass them by without a second thought, but if you want to enter the ocean, it is important to know its movements, whether to avoid being caught in a riptide or to figure out when the waves will be at their best.
What Causes the Tides and How Do They Influence Marine Life Although the new moon may be invisible to us, lost in the blinding rays of the sun, its effects in December should be evident to those living in coastal areas.
Because of its timing, the new moon in December nearly coincides with perigee--when the moon makes its closest approach to the earth--and some of the highest and lowest tides of the year are expected.
During new and full phase, the moon and sun align with the earth, so that the gravitational pull of both bodies are combined. Although the tidal effects of the sun are only 44 percent as strong as those of the moon, when the two are added together, they produce significantly higher tides, called spring fides a term that has nothing to do with the spring season but rather with the water's appearing to "spring" from the earth.
Tides and Forces of Gravity All bodies of water, large or small, are subject to the tide-producing forces of the sun and moon.
Tides also occur in the solid earth and in the atmosphere, but the displacements are small and can only be detected by sensitive instruments.
In inland bodies of water, the regular rise and fall of the tide is so small that it is completely masked by water-level changes caused by wind and weather. Lake Superior, for example, has a tide that rises and falls only about two inches.
Only along coasts where oceans and continents meet are tides great enough to be noticed. Such effects are most pronounced where funnel-shaped estuaries and bays magnify tidal effects.
In Canada's Bay of Fundy, for instance, the difference between high and low tide is sometimes more than fifty feet. The "perigean spring tides" which are very high can lead to coastal flooding, especially if they happen to be accompanied by a storm with winds blowing water onshore.
If, for example, strong east-to-northeast winds occur along the East Coast of the United States on or near December 22, widespread flooding can take place, especially in low-lying areas. Tidal swelling occurs twice a day on both sides of the earth, once when the moon passes overhead, and once when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth.
Tidal forces have an appreciable affect only on large bodies-- such as oceans--and this explains why soup doesn't spill over the sides of the bowl when the moon is full. The sun's gravitational pull on the earth is roughly half that of the moon's, but when the sun, the earth, and the moon are in a line during full or new moon phase the combined force produces the higher than normal "spring" tides in certain areas.
The effects are even more amplified when the moon is at perigee, as it will be this month. Although the moon's distance from apogee to perigee varies only from 9 to 14 percent, tidal influences can be 30 to 48 percent greater.
The resulting high tides which usually peak one or two days after perigee because of "gravitation lag" can cause coastal flooding, and some scientists have suggested that the chances of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions may also be slightly increased.
The positions and distances the earth, moon and sun all have an effect on the magnitude and size of the two tidal bulges. Scientists have found that the actual speed and height of tides are affected not only by the moon but also by land masses, water depth, winds, and barometric pressure.
Tides typically range from three to six feet, but some areas show no tides at all, and others, such as the Bay of Fundy, have tides of more than thirty feet.
If the barometer drops by one inch, the seas can rise by a foot. A storm can have an even larger effect; when strong winds are blowing ashore, water can pile up against the coast, turning a high-tide-perigee coincidence into a disaster. The tides do more than merely cause our coastal area authorities to post notices on the beaches.
They also keep our earth-moon system evolving. Long ago, when the moon and earth were closer, the earth's powerful tidal effects gradually brought the moon's rotation into agreement with its orbital period, so that we never see its far side. Partly because of tidal action, the rotation of the earth is gradually slowing down--by about one second every 50, years.
This causes the moon to speed up its revolution about our planet, which in turn, causes the moon to spiral slowly away from the earth--at a rate of about one and a half inches a year. What drives ocean circulation? Mostly the moon, although the there is some effect from the sun, its great distance reduces its gravitational force on the tides.
Tides Mix Ocean Waters The oceans are in constant motion Winds whip surface waters into major currents and the North Atlantic Ocean is like a wet conveyor belt, with cold water constantly sinking in the polar regions and then traveling, deep in the ocean, back toward the tropics.
Colder, deeper water must mix with warmer surface waters--otherwise, almost all the ocean would become cold and Earth's climate would be strikingly different. What watery spoon stirs the deep sea--and how?
Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California began to search for an understanding of the power behind ocean circulation.Waves, especially in seas and oceans, are sometimes a force to be reckoned with.
To humans, they can go from the soothing sight and sound of water lapping gently at the shore to overwhelming forces of destruction.
They can affect marine animals in much the same way, but waves also play a major role in their day-to-day.
Some of these are harmful to life, and some of these are helpful to life, where mostly they all serve both of these purposes. Another type of wave, though not on the spectrum because it is not light, are sound waves.4/5(2). ‘Rogue waves,' which can form during storms, are especially big—there are reports of ft (34m) and 70ft (21m) waves—and can be extremely unpredictable.
To sailors, they look like walls of water. Some of these are harmful to life, and some of these are helpful to life, where mostly they all serve both of these purposes.
Another type of wave, though not on the spectrum because it is not light, are sound waves. How Waves Affect our Everyday Life Positive aspects of waves The ability to hear, see and smell "Waves and How They Affect Life." lausannecongress2018.com lausannecongress2018.com, 06 May, Web. 06 Nov.
With the help of waves we have created a lot of technology that makes our lives easier. Waves have become an integrally ingrained part of our day to day life these days, with the advent of technology. Read about waves and their influence here.