Climate change

Impacts on infrastructure

Our climate is changing and regardless of whether you believe this is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities over the past century or not, the change is a fact. As such, no matter where we stand as individuals on why climate change is occurring, it is important to accept we need to understand and consider the impacts that climate change may have on the way we currently live, work and play. There is lots of interesting research occurring – from what areas will be the best for growing food, to impacts on alpine resorts and surfing spots. The King Tide initiative is based on using photos to understand the impacts of sea level changes on our built infrastructure and coastal areas. Learn more about the initiative here.

Climate Change and Sea Level rise

The changing climate is creating the rise in sea levels that is occurring in the world’s oceans. Changes in glaciers volumes and land-based ice sheets around the world are contributing to ocean changes and rising temperatures are causing seas to expand. Learn more about Sea Level Rise here.

What do King Tides Tell us About Climate Change?

It is important to note that King Tides are a natural part of tidal cycles and not a result of climate change. However King Tides do allow us to visualise how higher sea levels resulting from climate change could impact our coastlines.

Studying King Tides now can help us understand the potential impacts on wildlife habitats, buildings, roads and other infrastructure and the consequences that are expected to result from sea level rise including:

  • Erosion and shoreline recession
  • Regular or permanent inundation of lowland coastal areas
  • Increase in flooding during storms and high tides
  • Saltwater contamination of soil and groundwater

And of course these effects may be magnified when large storms hit, as sea levels can become even higher during storm surges.

By photographing and documenting King Tides we can raise awareness and knowledge of how sea level rise will impact our coastal areas, which will help us to protect our environment, communities and infrastructure for the future. Not a bad use of time when you think about it.

Find out how you can help document King Tides on our participate page.