Photos of the Long Island Sound
On the stairs underneath the Manhattan Bridge at mean tide. Photo by Kate Boicourt.

On the stairs underneath the Manhattan Bridge at mean tide. Photo by Kate Boicourt.

 

In comparison, the Manhattan Bridge at the high, or King tide. Photo by Rob Buchanan.

In comparison, the Manhattan Bridge at the high, or King tide. Photo by Rob Buchanan.

 

a) highest tide of the month

b) extreme high tide, occurring about once a year.

c) extreme high tide, occuring about once a century

Answer: b) A King Tide is the naturally occurring extreme high tide, which happens once or twice a year due to the alignment of both the sun and moon’s gravitational pull.  During this time, there can be flooding not usually seen during daily high tides.  As sea levels continue to rise due to climate change, this unusual flooding brought during the King Tide will become common as tides continue to rise and fall under an elevated sea level.  Although not caused by sea level rise, the height of a King Tide gives us an idea of what the average high tide level might be in 20-30 years.

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