"King Tide" Along the Delaware River a Forecast of Tides to Come?

  • Susan Phillips

Mary Cummings Jordan / WHYY

View of the Delaware River from Bucks County, Pa.


The Delaware River is tidal up to Trenton, rising and falling twice a day.  But at the end of this week, those tides may rise a foot higher than normal. A “King Tide” occurs when the earth reaches its closest annual point to the sun, while at the same time, the moon reaches its closest monthly point to the earth. With all these earthly bodies cozying up to one another, the oceans respond with unusually high, and low, tides.
This year, environmentalists are using the event to draw attention to global warming. Dr. Danielle Kreeger, science director for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, says in a press release that this week’s tides provide a glimpse into the future.
“Today’s King Tides will be tomorrow’s daily tides,” said Kreeger. “Most experts believe that sea levels in the Delaware Estuary will rise by three to five feet this century.”
Kreeger says within 20 years, tides could be a foot higher.
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary wants everyone to get out their cameras and take snapshots of the tide, while wearing a “King Tide Crown.”

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