In the coming weeks, extremely high tides will lap against shorelines across the globe, through a natural phenomenon known as “King Tides.”
Twice a year, when the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun are in alignment, ocean tides significantly swell, creating King Tides. While this is an annual occurrence, these high tides can provide a sneak peak into what potential sea level rise could look like related to climate change.
Documenting King Tides is a fun way to visit your local beach while contributing to science—and it’s easy! Just simply take photos during a king tide and upload them to social media and tag #kingtides. King Tides will take place on December 13 and 14, 2016 and January 10, 11, and 12, 2017 .
The Surfrider Foundation is working with local communities, academia, and municipalities to better understand how climate change is impacting our ocean and coasts. Scientists have predicted at least a 6-foot increase in sea levels by the end of this century. An increase of this magnitude would impact local communities and coastal habitats. We will see more flooded infrastructure and roads, shrunken beaches that limit public access/recreation, damage to marine and coastal ecosystems, and billions of dollars in economic damage.
We are hopeful that citizen science projects like King Tides will help us better understand future sea level rise. And we are hopeful that if communities begin to figure out ways to "adapt to sea level rise", future problems can be curtailed. To learn more about Surfrider’s climate change work, go here.