As explained on the “What is a King Tide?” page, king tides are natural and predictable phenomena that occur because of the changing gravitational pull of the moon and sun on the Earth.

King tides are not caused by climate change or sea-level rise. However, they can serve as a tool to help us to better understand what normal tides could look like considering future sea-level conditions.

It is quite possible that in the future, “normal” high tides will reach the magnitude of today’s king tides. In other words, the flooding we see during king tide events could become a regular occurrence. This phenomenon has serious implications for coastal residents who experience nuisance flooding and worse, as well as for disaster preparedness and management.

APES_SLR map

From this map we can see that much of coastal North Carolina is highly vulnerable to sea-level rise.