King tides -- a glimpse of future sea level rise

Jan 12, 2009
King tides -- a glimpse of future sea level rise
A combination of storms and high tides caused significant beach erosion on the Gold Coast last summer. Photo (c) Bruce Miller

( -- Tomorrow, beach-goers will get a glimpse of what our coastlines may look like in 50 years, when New South Wales and South East Queensland experience the highest daytime ‘king tides’ forecast for 2009.

“By 2060 to 2070 we could be experiencing tides of at least this magnitude every month, rather than just twice a year due to climate-change induced sea level rise,” says a research scientist with CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, Dr Kathy McInnes.

King tides are natural events that happen twice a year. The tides predicted for many parts of the east coast between 8am and 10.30am on Monday morning are around 40 to 50 cm higher than the average ‘spring tide’ (the highest tide in the monthly moon cycle).

Dr McInnes says observing the king tide can assist communities to plan and prepare for the effects of climate change.

“This king tide is not caused by climate change, but it can help us picture what our coastlines might look like in the future.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels are projected to rise by between 18-79cm or more this century.

“Photographing or recording the effect of the king tide on seawalls, jetties, coastal infrastructure and foreshore areas creates a helpful visual record for use in adaptation planning,” Dr McInnes says.

“In New South Wales the State Government, local councils and community groups are coordinating a state-wide photographic survey of the king tide for this purpose.

“The actual height reached by the king tide will depend on local weather and ocean conditions on the day.”

Scientists from the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship are working with communities, governments and industry to understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Provided by CSIRO

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User comments : 7

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3 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2009
How dare the earth change its climate when we've gone to all this trouble drawing our borders and establishing city limits! What audacity of nature to not obey our local zoning ordiances! We can't have all this offshore rubbish encroaching our fair city proper, someone call the constabulary and put a stop to this incursion immediately! By god men, its high time we pay a tax on this sort of behavior, the higher the better!
4 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2009
Makes for a pretty awesome photo.
1 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2009
18-79cm ocean rise this century, huh? That is on the low side of just therma expansion. Instead, we will likely future temperature and CO2(e) level rise we will see a couple meter rise, although our immediate concern should be record high temperatures:

"Few seem to realise that the present IPCC models predict almost unanimously that by 2040 the average summer in Europe will be as hot as the summer of 2003 when over 30,000 died from heat. By then we may cool ourselves with air conditioning and learn to live in a climate no worse than that of Baghdad now. But without extensive irrigation the plants will die and both farming and natural ecosystems will be replaced by scrub and desert. What will there be to eat? The same dire changes will affect the rest of the world and I can envisage Americans migrating into Canada and the Chinese into Siberia but there may be little food for any of them." --Dr James Lovelock's lecture to the Royal Society, 29 Oct. '07
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2009
It snowed in Baghdad last year.
1 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2009
Hey! MikeB, Gray mouser and Vilenaris, put on your swim suit and get ready for the swim of your life. Maybe when you will swallow too much water and sink to the bottom, you will think: "oh! no, what have we done, it is too late now and we have been ignoring so many warnigs! By the way, what is wrong with you folks, you have not complained about the article yet?
3 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2009
Hey! MikeB, Gray mouser and Vilenaris, put on your swim suit and get ready for the swim of your life. Maybe when you will swallow too much water and sink to the bottom, you will think: "oh! no, what have we done, it is too late now and we have been ignoring so many warnigs! By the way, what is wrong with you folks, you have not complained about the article yet?

If the ocean was rising there would be signs of it beyond typical satelite measured thermal expansion. There are not. There fore the article is a rather playful fiction with an interesting oceanic oddity attached.

Ask the New Zealanders how the King tide was this year. They'll probably tell you it was fairly pitiful seeing as all the warm water that typically causes it was redirected causing the ice melt that you guys clamored over.
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2009
Anthropomorphic Global Warming zealots always point to and use circular logic referencing UN IPCC phoney-baloney studies when hysterically repeating their religious fantasies they want you to accept as factual science.

They are identical in thought process to Creationists who manufacture facts based on the Bible and ignore the most basic fundamental and empirically testable tenents of science and the scientific method with respect to the age of the earth and the processes of evolution.

The green religious zealots try the same thing, except the UN IPCC panel is their God and their bible is built from all of the politically motivated, anti-humanity, anti-capitalist, scaremongering tripe that is fed to them to keep them zealously hyperventilating for higher taxes and more restrictions on the freedoms of people everywhere to live their lives in modern comfort.