How Long Would Earth Survive Without The Moon (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 million years (approx)

The moon, situated about 384400 kilometers from the earth, is the closest object to the planet. Playing the game of gravitational tug of war, the moon not only has the responsibility of providing light during the night but also is responsible for the axis and tides on the surface of the earth.

The majority of the moons of the other planets are very small in size when compared to the planets they orbit around. It is not the same case when it comes to the earth’s moon. Therefore, if one day the moon suddenly disappeared apart from there being daytime for 24 hours there would be some adverse effects that might bring in some changes to life on earth which will be irreversible.

How Long Would Earth Survive Without The Moon?

The changing phases of the moon determine the calenders till today, just like the olden days. As a result, if the moon disappears one fine day then what time there will be a shift in the axis of the earth which will lead to seasonal as well as temperature changes all over the surface.

There will be no eclipses and the days will be much shorter. The speed of the earth’s rotation will change fast and therefore, a 24-hour day will change into a 10 hour day over time.

The rotation pattern of Earth will change because if the moon disappears, at first there might be no drastic changes in the earth’s gravitational shift but at what time without the moon’s gravitational force holding the earth in place the axis of earth will shift drastically. Due to the shift in tilts, there eventually will be no change in seasons therefore extreme climate changes will make the ice age dawn upon the earth.

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During the night the sun reflects its light on the moon which helps us with a nighttime sky but with the moon gone the nights will become and believably dark without any artificial source of lighting.

EcosystemTime
HumansA million years
Nocturnal animals3-4 years
Plants100-200 years

Why Would Earth Survive That Long Without the moon?

There will be a shift in the ocean tides. The gravitational pull of the moon provides a strong force that helps the ocean water to go back and forth, helping in tides. Therefore, if there is no more then the tides will rise and fall very slowly which will heavily affect the ocean level as well as the current fluctuation rate of the water bodies.

Marine life will suffer as there is fluctuation in the rise and fall of sea tides the flow of energy in the water will show a change. This in turn can heavily affect the coastal ecosystem. Due to the fluctuations in energy, the marine ecosystem will suffer heavily. Species such as kelp, algae, crabs, barnacles, snails, sea stars, and mussels will have a tough time surviving.

Temperature fluctuations will increase. The high and low tides in the ocean help in maintaining the temperature of not only the water but also influence the weather patterns globally. They help in distributing precipitation and warm water across the earth’s surface. As a result, if there are no tides or fluctuations, the regional temperatures all over the globe will be a little extreme.

Nocturnal animals would suffer, animals such as bats and owls search for food or go hunting only during the night. So if the moon was to disappear there would be little or no darkness at night which would ultimately lead to the death of nocturnal animals as they would starve to death.

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Additionally, there will also be seasonal changes without the moon’s gravity holding the Earth in place, the tilt of our home planet’s axis would probably shift drastically over time. Earth could go from no tilt with virtually no seasons to a drastic tilt with extreme seasonal weather changes and ice ages in just a few hundred thousand years.

Conclusion

Apart from all the positives, the moon brings to the earth and the negatives that will happen if the moon disappears. The moon is also a very important source of knowledge and information to mankind. It helps to learn more about the universe and the solar system before the evolution of mankind.

References

  1. https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.70.589
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576501000078
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