Published 8th January 2020, 4:48pm
The Department of Environment (DoE) is asking the public to provide observations about the Perigean spring tides or ‘King Tides’, which are expected in mid-January and again in early to mid-February.
The tides are expected to be abnormally high at that time due to the stronger that usual gravitational forces which occur when the moon is at its closest point to the earth, and the sun, moon and earth are in alignment.
A release from DoE states, “Given our low-lying topography and rising sea levels associated with global climate change, the DoE is keen to better understand potential impacts resulting from these events. Depending on the location of the sun and moon relative to the Earth at the time, tides may rise just a few inches to a couple of feet above normal.”
In recent years some low-lying roads in Cayman have been covered by sea water during the King Tides. In Miami, the increasing frequency of the salt water inundation prompted the City in 2017 to purchase a 400 million dollar resilience bond, which was then put towards combatting the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. Part of this money paid for seawalls and increasing the height of certain roads in the financial district and in Miami Beach, and for the installation of a network of 80 pumps that continually drives saltwater back into Biscayne Bay, reducing the flooding which has been occurring with increasing frequency on roads, especially during high tide events.
Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Dwayne Seymour is asking residents to send in photos and information about the King Tide events to DoE@gov.ky. He added, “Having better annual records of these high tide events can help us to understand what a future sea level rise might look like, and thus aid in making preparations for such an event.”