King tides

Waves thunder under ~ boardwalks and building pilings ~ a morning king tide

This week along the California coast we’re experiencing what’s commonly called a “king tide.” It’s an especially high seasonal (in this case winter) tide. We’re getting a 6-to-7-foot (about 2-meter) high tide each morning. High tides coupled with large swells make for some spectacular wave watching from shore or kayak, as I did earlier this week. The bay felt like a large sloshing bathtub.

WaveOnWallThere are efforts to get the public to document these high tides to show the potentially dangerous and destructive impact of sea level rise, which is predicted with climate change. Watching waves crash against buildings, wash up stairways, or over docks and breakwaters is sobering.

To see some of the photos that have been submitted or learn about how to get involved, visit the California King Tides Initiative. And if you’re out wave watching, keep a safe distance and your eyes always on the water.

About Chris Parsons

A science writer/educator exploring and sharing nature with words and photos to connect, inspire and conserve.
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One Response to King tides

  1. Susan K. says:

    Yeah Chris! Finally, time to write what you want, when you want. I’m particularly fond of your haiku. Keep ’em coming!

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