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Fewer large waves projected for eastern Australia due to decreasing storminess
Dowdy, A.J.; Mills, G.A.; Timbal, B.; Wang, Y. (2014). Fewer large waves projected for eastern Australia due to decreasing storminess. Nat. Clim. Chang. 4: 283-286. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/nclimate2142
In: Nature Climate Change. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 1758-678X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dowdy, A.J.
  • Mills, G.A.
  • Timbal, B.
  • Wang, Y.

Abstract
    Extratropical cyclones are the main generators of the strong winds that cause large ocean waves in temperate regions of the world. The severity of the winds associated with these storms is poorly represented by the coarse resolution of current global climate models (GCMs), making it challenging to produce projections of the future climate of large waves. Wind data from GCMs can be downscaled in resolution using dynamical methods, resulting in a successful reproduction of the mean wave climate, but a suboptimal reproduction of the storm wave climate. Projections of large wave occurrence can also be produced using statistical downscaling methods, although such methods have previously been applied only to three or less GCMs, preventing a robust assessment of confidence in projections based on variation between models. Consequently, considerable uncertainty remains in projections of the future storm wave climate. Here we apply a statistical diagnostic of large wave occurrence in eastern Australia to 18 different GCMs, allowing model variations to be examined in greater detail than previously possible. Results are remarkably consistent between different GCMs, allowing anthropogenic influences to be clearly demonstrated, with fewer days with large waves expected to occur in eastern Australia due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

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