The “king tide.” It’s a naturally occurring, predictable event caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the moon, the sun and the rotation of the Earth, which manifest in the local rise and fall of sea levels. On Thursday those combined effects will align to create the most exaggerated tides of the year, and eco-activists and their media accomplices are seizing the opportunity to warn of human-caused climate change.
“If you head down the beach this week or wander along the edges of San Francisco Bay,” says San Jose Mercury News environmental reporter Paul Rodgers, “you may just be witnessing California’s future. The ocean is getting closer.”
King tides occur several times a year, but this week’s are the biggest of 2012, rising several feet higher than average tides. Environmentalists are using the event as a disingenuous teaching tool to make the public believe that the use of fossil fuels is warming the atmosphere, melting the glaciers and polar ice caps and forcing the oceans to irreversibly rise to dangerous levels.
“You can read something, but when you see it firsthand, it’s more powerful,” Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, told the Mercury News. Griggs, an outspoken believer in anthropogenic global warming, says, “When you see a place you know, when you see a king tide and say, wow, it’s six inches from the San Francisco International Airport runway, you realize this is real. It’s not just a model.”
Phil Watson, a coastal specialist with Australia’s Office of Environment and Heritage, says the tide will come close to the upper range of climate-change predictions for the sea level rise by the end of this century. “So a king tide today is going to be very close to mean sea level by 2100,” he told Australia’s ABC News.
The question is, are the oceans really rising because of global warming?
In a word, no.
Ever since the end of the last Ice Age, global sea level has been gradually increasing. The melting ice and snow from that bitterly cold event is continually trickling into our great oceans and seas. According to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment from 2007, over the past 20,000 years sea level has increased nearly 400 feet, and over the past century the average sea level raised a mere 1.8 millimeters per year. Try placing your thumb as close to your forefinger as possible, without the two touching – that’s the amount of sea level rise each year.
But now the environmentalists are wildly claiming that by 2100 that rate of increase will accelerate and the oceans will rise “16.5 inches to 65 inches by 2100,” as reported by the Mercury News.
A forecast like that would get your local TV weatherman fired. “The high temperature tomorrow will be anywhere from 16 degrees to 65 degrees. Back to you, Bill and Kathy.”
The only thing worrisome about the king tide is if it’s appearance coincides with a storm; the associated wind-driven waves could wreak havoc.
Otherwise, if you live along the coast, take a look, snap a photo, and marvel at the wonders of nature.