King Tides Offer Glimpse of Future Coastlines

King Tides

King tides (extreme high and low tides) typically occur during a full or new moon when the gravitational force between the Moon and Earth is the highest. Today’s king tides provide an important glimpse into what our Bay coastline will look like as a result of climate change. Sea levels are rising due to the melting of land-based ice, such as glaciers, but also due to the thermal expansion of water as Earth’s temperature rises. If our region doesn’t plan now for adaptive solutions to sea level rise, the flooding and other impacts we see from today’s king tides could become a daily occurrence in the not-too-distant future. Future king tides  will raise water levels above that new normal. 

This year the highest and lowest tides will occur Thursday, January 11, Friday, January 12, and Friday, February 9. The time for high and low tides on the Pacific coast and in the San Francisco Bay can be found from NOAA. If you are interested in joining others to observe the king tides or want to find out more information, check out the California Coastal Commission’s California King Tide Project. We hope you’ll photograph king tide impacts in your community and share it with the King Tide Project. View our Bay Alive Campaign’s King Tides webinar to learn more.

For more information on Sierra Club’s work with Bayside communities to develop sea level rise solutions, see our Bay Alive Campaign website.