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Changes in global ocean wave heights as projected using multi-model CMIP5 simulations
Wang, X.L.; Feng, Y.; Swail, V.R. (2014). Changes in global ocean wave heights as projected using multi-model CMIP5 simulations. Geophys. Res. Lett. 41(3): 1026-1034.
In: Geophysical Research Letters. American Geophysical Union: Washington. ISSN 0094-8276, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Ocean wave height; CMIP5 simulations; statistical downscaling; multivariate regression; climate change; generalized extreme value distribution

Authors  Top 
  • Wang, X.L.
  • Feng, Y.
  • Swail, V.R.

    Ocean surface waves can be major hazards in coastal and offshore activities. However, there exists very limited information on ocean wave behavior in response to climate change, because such information is not simulated in current global climate models. This study made statistical projections of changes in ocean wave heights using sea level pressure (SLP) information from 20 CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) global climate models for the twenty-first century. The results show significant wave height increases in the tropics (especially in the eastern tropical Pacific) and in southern hemisphere high-latitudes (south of 45oS). Under the projected 2070-2099 climate condition of the rising high concentration pathway - the RCP8.5 scenario, the occurrence frequency of the present-day one-in-10-year extreme wave heights is likely to double or triple in several coastal regions around the world. These wave height increases are primarily driven by increased SLP gradients and hence increased surface wind energy.

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