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King Tides to Hit Carlsbad this Week

The extreme high tides this week offer a glimpse into what rising ocean levels could look like in the future.

"High tide" will really live up to its name this week, when the year's biggest tides pound the California coastline, vanishing some beaches.

“King Tides” are high tides that occur when the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon are in alignment, according to the California King Tides Initiative, an crowd-sourcing effort to document the high sea levels. The tides happen about once a month, but the larger events typically occur in the winter when there is storm activity. High tides through Friday are the biggest of 2012.

The California King Tides Initiative encourages people to take and submit photos of the high water levels, especially against iconic backdrops such as bridges or seawalls. Researchers can then use the photos to track water levels and changes over time. The Initiative collected photos last winter as well.

The photos provide a sneak peak into what rising sea levels could look like in California, an area that could experience up to a 2-foot increase by 2050, according to the Sea Level Rise Report from the National Academy of Science.

According to the San Diego Coastkeeper, "Beaches and waterfronts to best observe the King Tides are San Diego Bay, Oceanside Beach, San Elijo Lagoon, Del Mar Dog Beach, San Dieguito Lagoon Entrance, Torrey Pines, La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach, and Imperial Beach/Tijuana Estuary."

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