4. What can we learn by measuring tides?
In Narragansett Bay, measuring and predicting tides is important for safe navigation of commercial shipping and fishing. Good tide measurements help make good nautical charts. Many recreational activities are affected by the tides as well. Measuring tides protects people when it helps predict potential storm surges and coastal flooding. Many chemical properties of the water change with the tides as water is moved up and down the Bay (see the cycles page).
On a global scale, measuring tides helps scientists understand the circulation of the ocean. Sea level measurements taken over a long time can help understand sea level rise, predict and understand El Nino, provide baseline data for satellite measurements, and help understand global warming.