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Tuesday 2 February 2016

How the Moon influences the weather

The Moon influences the tides, controls the length of the day, controls the biological cycles of certain creatures, and of course, werewolves*. But, for the first time, it has been shown by Tsubasa Kohyama and John M. Wallace that Earth's nearest neighbour can exert control ovr the weather. Specifically their investigations have found that the Moon influences rain fall, in a small but definite way. "As far as I know, this is the first study to convincingly connect the tidal force of the moon with rainfall," said Kohyama.

Yep, you an now literally blame he rain on the Moon. drop in every hundred, at least.

The way it works is down to gravity, and is not a million miles away from ow tides work: When the Moon is overhead, its gravity causes Earth's atmosphere to bulge toward it, like a tide of air, so the pressure of the atmosphere on that side of the planet goes up. Higher pressure increases the temperature of air near the surface. Since warmer air can hold more moisture this makes rain - which happens when the air has too much water - harder to form.

Filled to capacity.....

The effect is measurable, but, today, very small. "No one should carry an umbrella just because the moon is rising," Kohyama said.The effect could be used to test climate models, checking if they're good enough to reproduce how the pull of the moon eventually leads to less rain. A further twist to the tale is how this might change our understanding of ancient Earth: In ancient times The Moon was closer, and raised more powerful tides - becoming truly monstrous if you go back far enough. Would the dinosaurs, for example, have been able to predict some aspects of the weather based on the Moon's stronger influence? We may never know, but now the idea has been raised researchers will be looking for ways to find out. 

Above: I'm not sure T-rex would have cared very much... but you never know......

Even today the Moon may be pivotal in easily influenced weather systems. Wallace plans to study the Moons' meteorological effects further: Some categories of rain may be more susceptible to the influence of the Moon, and the frequency of rainstorms may show a lunar connection.

Maybe what's out there has more of an impact down here than we ever realised...

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