Letters to the Editor

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CLIMATE: Higher tides don’t mean rising seas

Letter by Jerry R. Ogden, Tacoma on Jan. 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm | 145 Comments »
January 11, 2012 2:38 pm

“The oceans are rising, and we don’t have much time.”

Those are the words of Al Gore – a pseudo scientist, the very type of person he recently warned us about. This was also the theme of an article appearing in The News Tribune – “Volunteers document rising tides” (1-1).

Prompted by the state Department of Ecology, volunteers are taking pictures of king tides. The fallacy of this project is that merely photographing higher-than-normal tides, which naturally occur, does not verify rising seas as the article intimates. Rising tides are different from rising seas.

Over a four-year span, I have measured tides in the Tacoma area at my own tidal measuring site. Because of eight to 10 natural influences, an accurate scenario can only be achieved by averaging the data over time.

On Nov. 7, 1940 “Galloping Gertie” collapsed into the Tacoma Narrows at 11:08 a.m. prior to a high tide of 11.3 feet at 11:36 a.m. One only has to look at the pictures of the moment to see the tide line on the piers of the bridge, which are visible today and part of the 1950 bridge.

Compare those pictures to today’s tide line during a like tide and weather. You will see a very consistent level over a 70-year span. That proves to me, as my own measurements have, that the seas are not rising.

Taking pictures is one thing, measuring is everything.

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