King Tides

At any given location, the sea level rises and falls twice each day as the moon orbits the earth, pulling the world’s oceans along with it.  But not all tides are created equally. When the sun, moon, and earth align with the shortest distance between them, the increased gravitational pull on the ocean causes the most extreme tides of all,known as King Tides. This occurs only once or twice a year in the winter when the earth is closest to the sun. The next King Tide event will occur December 22-23,2018, as well as January 20-21, 2019.

King Tides offer the opportunity to see into the future of our coast. As temperatures rise with global climate change, oceans warm and expand.With the addition of increased melt water from glaciers and icecaps, our oceans are steadily rising. The rate that oceans are rising has been increasing in recent decades, and is projected to increase even further. The ocean level that we see during a King Tide is what the average high tide may look like in the future.

Low-lying coastal areas are at an increased risk of tidal flooding as sea levels rise, and Crystal Cove’s Historic Beach Cottages are no exception. King Tide events offer an opportunity to see what sea level rise might look like in our communities, and better prepare for the challenge it presents.

Join Crystal Cove State Park naturalists on Monday January 21st2019 for a Facebook Live  broadcast showcasing King Tides at Crystal Cove. This will be part of the CA Coastal Commissions’“Snap the Shore, See the Future” social media campaign. If you want to help monitor tidal levels at Crystal Cove State Park, visit the beach during a day with an exceptionally high tide and take a photo of the beach at the high tide mark, or right at the highest point that the waves are reaching. Post Your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #crystalcovetides.

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