Friday, December 28, 2012

King Tides, Full Moons & Sea Level Rise

It's been a muddy few weeks on my favorite trail along Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary. It's not a real hiking trail or anything—the trail that runs along this sliver of the SF Bay is flat save for a several very slight dips— but it affords great views of migratory birds, the city skyline and a general check in with the SF Bay. The trail just skirts the tideline...until recently. Many of the tides of the past few weeks have been the highest of the year and much of the trail has been muddy and or covered in driftwood and debris. "King Tides" happen every year:
"The king tides are caused by the perfect alignment of the sun and the moon, which pulls ocean water to opposite sides of the earth. Most tidal surges are created predominantly by the gravitational pull of the moon*."
Elsie B Roemer in late summer**
However a 'coalition of government and nonprofit advocate' caution that recent tidelines are actually indicative of where climate-change induced rising sea levels will take us in terms of land and water. The next King Tides in California are scheduled for January 9-11. The California King Tides Initiative is inviting residents to document the tides and their affects in photos and share them with others. Visit for more information on King Tides
Wonder if there are 'Queen Tides'?...
Speaking of the very real issue of sea level rise. East Bay producer/director Claire Shoen has been documenting the effect of seal level rise on Bay Area residents in an award-winning series of webstories.  Her media series RISE: Climate Change and Coast Communities depicts the face of the bay now. Take a look at one of the RISE webstories:

* Full Cold Moon 'This is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. This full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.'

**Speaking of the effects of water... and to explain why there are no images of the trail from yesterday: I dropped my new iPhone into water over the holidays. Ouch! I thought it was done for but due to the MacGyver-like maneuvers of my husband, which involving dismantling the phone and drying it out thoroughly, the phone came back to life. Alas, everything functions BUT the camera. 

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