King tides are the highest and lowest tides of the year. These unusually large tidal events occur because of a combination of the gravitational pull from the moon, sun, and Earth. Despite their name, king tides aren’t necessarily high in all parts of the world. In some places they may be lower than average.
King tides often result in coastal flooding, as seawater is pushed ashore by strong winds or low pressure systems during periods when the tide is already high. This can lead to property damage, coastal erosion, and disruption to ecosystems. To prepare for these extreme events, local governments can build shoreline protection such as jetties and sea walls that protect against flooding and coastal erosion.
Another important factor in predicting potential impacts from king tides is sea level rise, which affects how much height difference there is between land and sea water levels. Sea levels have been rising steadily since 1880 due to melting ice sheets in polar regions caused by global warming. Rising sea levels compound the effects of king tides by amplifying the force at which seawater is pushed onto land during high tide events.
Climate change also influences conditions leading up to king tides like weather patterns and storm intensity- both of which impact overall tide levels as well as any storm surge associated with them. This means that king tide impacts will increase over time as temperatures continue to rise worldwide due to human activity-driven greenhouse gas emissions.
Although it may not be possible to completely prevent flooding and coastal erosion caused by king tides, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate their effects on communities and ecosystems alike. For example, early warning systems help alert people so they can take appropriate action before an event occurs while projects like beach nourishment replenish sand eroded by waves over time or prevent further coastline erosion during storms surges or high tides associated with king tide events. Additionally, land use plans help determine where development should be concentrated or restricted depending on its location relative to predicted flood zones generated using data related to future sea level rise scenarios combined with knowledge about previous king tide impacts on an area over time.
By understanding what causes king tides and taking steps now to plan for future ones, communities around the world will better be able to protect their shores from any negative impacts associated with these unique tidal occurrences.
What’s cooler about all this? Pictures and watching water move.