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Not King Canute

19 Jan 2022 | News Roundup

The real “King Tide” was not Canute, nor did he think so. A King Tide refers to especially high water levels when the gravitational pull of the moon and, yes, the sun which also affects tides align to give the ocean a particularly hard yank. And Seattle just had one. Or more. In fact it had what may have been a record high tide, with coastal flooding. Drat that climate change, right? Because see there was low pressure, associated with lack of heat.

Cliff Mass observes that nature abhors a vacuum or some such, so that a high pressure zone tends to push water levels down and a low pressure zone sucks them up. Not a lot compared to all the other stuff going on, perhaps. But when the stars and other space objects are suitably aligned, and a low pressure zone happens to come by and adds to the balance, you can get a record.

Yeah yeah but sea level climate change blah blah blah, right? No. Stop. Mass himself, though not one of those pernicious deniers, includes a chart of local sea levels for the last 120 years, which he summarizes with “A very steady increase with little sign of recent acceleration upward. The sea-level rise has been about 2.06 mm a year or 8 inches per century. So the weather-related enhancement of about 24 inches dwarfed the steady rise of sea level over the past century, some of which may be associated with global warming.”

What’s especially remarkable is that you can have extreme weather that’s not proof positive of climate breakdown. Or maybe it’s not remarkable at all.

2 comments on “Not King Canute”

  1. On the same day that Seattle was having its tidal problems we had the same king tide, but not the low pressure zone. A community north of us had a beach front RV community slightly flooded. Of course, the climate change numpties were out in force citing global warming and sea level rise. When I pointed out that the problem came from a king tide plus a strong onshore wind causing a surge they were having none of it, one lad said that you could see the sea level rise as it was right in front of you on the tide gauge. I was amazed at this lad's eyesight that he could discern .07 of an inch sea level rise amidst the 15 feet of tide.

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