The tidal forces of the moon have the same effect on everything on Earth, not only the sea and lakes but also stones, plants, and animals. However, the effect is only clearly visible as tides in the sea. The relationship between the tidal forces and the tides is crucial for life. Let’s find out how tides are useful to us.
The reason for tides, as we all know, is that the water is drawn to the moon’s gravitational pull. The tidal forces arise from the gravity of the moon and the corresponding movement of the Earth. They are strongest at the point on the surface of the Earth facing the moon and, on the other side, furthest from the moon. The reason for this is the combination of gravitational and centrifugal forces. It is difficult to understand why large tidal forces also occur on the side facing away from the moon, because it takes a lot of imagination, but the principle is made clearer by a simple analogy. Before we discuss How Are Tides Useful To Us, let’s find out how tides are caused.
If you now hold the keychain on the cord in your hand and swirl it around, it corresponds to the Earth-Moon system. Because the moon does not simply circle the Earth, but the moon and Earth attract each other and circle around the common center of gravity, just as the keychain describes a wide circle, but the hand also describes a smaller one. The Earth has around 80 times as much mass as the moon. The moon moves in a long orbit around the Earth, but the Earth also moves a little. The common center of gravity lies in the interior of the Earth, about 2/3 of the way from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Earth towards the moon.
How centrifugal forces play a role?
This is where the keychain model is useful. The hand moves as a whole, and when you look closely, you can see that all points of the hand move in the same way on circles that all have the same radius. Accordingly, the centrifugal forces caused by the movement around the center of gravity are the same at every point. These centrifugal forces are always directed away from the keychain, at every point of the hand.
Of course, further centrifugal forces arise with the Earth since the Earth also rotates about its own axis. However, we can ignore these centrifugal forces here, because they constantly point away from the Earth’s axis at every point on the Earth’s surface. For the tides, however, the forces change over time relative to the surface of the Earth, which means the centrifugal forces exert maximum strength around the center of gravity.
Centrifugal forces and moon attraction add up to the tidal forces. We now understand that the centrifugal forces are applied against the direction of the moon. The attraction of the moon is always maximum towards the side of the Earth facing the moon. But it decreases with an increasing distance from the moon, i.e., it is greater on the side of the Earth facing the moon than on the side facing away from the moon. The sum of both forces gives the tidal force. At the point of the Earth facing the moon, the gravitational force of the moon is greater than the centrifugal force. The tidal force, therefore, points to the moon, increasing the water level. At the point away from the moon, the centrifugal force is greater than the lunar attraction, pulling the water upwards. Now let’s see How Are Tides Useful To Us.
Moon Stabilizes the Earth’s climate.
The most important influence of the moon on Earth is that it has stabilized the climate for over four billion years. Without the moon, the Earth’s axis could fluctuate much more than it has since Earth was created. The equator of the Earth is inclined at 23.5 degrees to the orbit where it rotates around the sun. This is the only reason for the seasons as we know them. This angle of inclination is very stable because of the moon and its gravity.
Moon Controls Earth’s Speed
Another important effect of the moon on the Earth is that it decelerates the Earth through its gravity. The days on Earth would be much shorter if the moon did not exist. It is one major reason for the existence of life on Earth and How Are Tides Useful To Us.
Without the moon, there might not even be life on Earth.
Without the moon, there might not even be life on Earth, which would have to deal with the short days and the harsh climate. The weather on Earth has been taking place in this relatively stable framework for four billion years that ensured that life on Earth could develop.
The moon helps in providing the conditions for the existence of life on Earth. So-called tidal pools are primarily responsible for this. These are puddles or ponds on coasts that are supplied with water during the flood but have no connection to the sea at low tide. Very high concentrations of nutrients occur in tidal pools and thus potentially contribute to the development of life.
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At two points on the Earth’s surface, namely the closest point to the moon and the most distant point, the tidal forces pull everything upwards the most; at the other points, they are weaker. All objects on Earth are subject to these forces, including water. Because the Earth rotates on its own axis every day, these two tidal mountains move around the Earth. That is How Tides Are Useful To Us.