San Francisco Bay Area

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Help Document Bay Area High Tides

King tides return to the Bay Area, augmented by a long-awaited winter storm.

Jack Gregg

High tide at Pier 14 in San Francisco during the winter of 2011.

No one knows exactly how much sea level rise the San Francisco Bay Area can expect from climate change, but king tides — extremely high seasonal tides — may give insight into what could be normal in the future.

Starting today and continuing through Sunday, king tides are expected in the morning hours around the Bay Area. Recent rainstorms and the accompanying runoff will likely make these tides even bigger. The California King Tides Initiative is again asking for citizens to document the visual effects of king tides and add them to a Flickr photo pool to help give a perspective on how sea level rise might change local landscapes.

Sea levels have risen about eight inches in the last century and the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) has warned that the area should be ready for 16 inches of sea level rise by mid-century.

California Cities Confront Water Challenges

Craig Miller

Scientists and planners expect the Bay Area to face a host of water-related threats in the coming decades due to climate change, including flooding due to rising seas and summer water shortages due to warmer temperatures and a shrinking Sierra snowpack.

A new analysis released Tuesday from the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council catalogs these threats, for San Francisco, and for 11 other American cities, including Los Angeles. The study also looks at how prepared the cities are to adapt to these climate challenges. It finds, in general, that San Francisco is leading the way when it comes to being prepared. Continue reading