A massive wave recently smashed into a U.S. military facility in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which lie in the western Pacific Ocean. The terrifying moment caught on camera provided a sobering look at the power of water.
An important military outpost on Roi-Namur island sustained significant damage after being hit by a rogue wave, according to CNN, which also posted footage of the event on its Instagram account (@cnn).
In the clip, a voice can be heard urgently warning everyone to “keep the door closed,” but the entryway was no match for the gigantic wall of water, which proceeded to pour into the building.
CNN wrote that the wave caused “damage that will take months to repair,” according to the U.S. Army, which said in a statement that “multiple areas on the island are under water.” Some people also suffered minor injuries.
Why is this concerning?
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that sea levels have risen an average of eight to nine inches since 1880, and rising global temperatures are to blame.
Glaciers and ice sheets are melting, and as water warms, it goes through a process called “thermal expansion” — basically causing it to take up more space.
This leaves islands and coastal areas more vulnerable to flooding and rogue waves, which NOAA says are “greater than twice the size of surrounding waves, are very unpredictable, and often come unexpectedly from directions.”
What can be done about rogue waves?
Rogue waves are dangerous and still hold a lot of mystery, but encounters with them are thankfully rare, with NOAA noting that they “have only been accepted as real by scientists over the past few decades” after being considered part of marine folklore for hundreds of years.
At this time, most people are unlikely to find themselves surprised by such a wave, and reducing the amount of planet-warming pollution generated by day-to-day activities is the best thing you can do to keep it that way.
The burning of dirty energy is the primary cause of our planet’s changing temperatures, but switching to LED light bulbs, unplugging energy vampires, and weatherizing your home are ways not only to eliminate considerable amounts of pollution but also to save money on bills.
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