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Without the Moon, No Reliable Seasons
Without the moon, we would have no reliable seasons. Because the moon stabilizes the Earth’s axis. If it did not exist, the Earth’s axis would rotate every few million years. With devastating effects on the climate. The researchers did the calculations: Without the moon, the Earth’s axis could tilt almost 90 degrees from time to time. Then the North Pole could very quickly be in the tropics. This would mean: Each half of the Earth would have six months of blazing sun followed by six months of cold, dark night. The moon, on the other hand, holds the Earth’s axis reasonably in position, so such extreme conditions cannot occur.
Important Role in Evolution
Without the moon, the continents might still be lifeless and all life would take place in the sea. This is because the moon brings us high and low tides, and so also the coastal floodplains at the transition between water and land. Large areas that flood twice a day and dry up in between. These transition areas played an important role in evolution: this is where amphibians developed, which then drifted further and further onto the land and from which lizards, dinosaurs and mammals eventually evolved. Without the moon, the tides would be much weaker and all those flood plains would not have existed in the form they do.
Without the Moon, Days Would Be Shorter
Today, it takes the Earth 24 hours to rotate once around itself. In the early days of the Earth, it spun four times faster. Thus, a day lasted only six hours. It was the moon that slowed down the speed of the earth: Through the tides it drives, through the ebb and flow and all this sliding back and forth on the earth, the earth constantly loses rotational energy and as a result spins slower and slower.
Without the moon, it would not only be dark at night, but pitch black every night. Only the stars could still light our way.
Without the moon, the earth would become lonelier – therefore, without a companion. The sad part of the story is that the moon is moving away from us: every year it moves 4 cm further out into space. One day, in the distant future, it will be so far away that there will no longer be a total lunar eclipse. So, could earth survive without the moon?