Changes of Wind Waves in the North Atlantic over the last 30 years

Gulev, Sergej and Hasse, Lutz (1999) Changes of Wind Waves in the North Atlantic over the last 30 years International Journal of Climatology, 19 . pp. 1091-1117. DOI 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199908)19:10<1091::AID-JOC403>3.0.CO;2-U.

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In order to evaluate long-term climatic changes in wind wave height, visual wave estimates available from the Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (GOADS) were updated for the period from 1964 to 1993. Analysis of the accuracy of visual estimates shows that observations from merchant ships can be used for the study of climate changes in storminess. Climate changes obtained in significant wave height, computed on the basis of the voluntary observed data, are quite consistent with those shown by the instrumental records at OWS L, Seven Stones Light Vessel and NDBC buoys. The linear trends in significant wave height, as well as in the wind sea and swell heights, were computed for the entire North Atlantic. Significant wave height increases of 10–30 cm/decade over the whole of the North Atlantic, except for the western and central subtropics were found. Changes in the swell height are very consistent with those seen in significant wave height. Nevertheless, wind sea indicates strong upward tendencies only in the central mid-latitudinal North Atlantic and does not show any significant trends in the Northeast Atlantic, where instrumental records of Bacon and Carter report secular changes of about 1% a year. Wind waves of smaller occurrences show significantly negative changes in the Northeast Atlantic; that is in agreement with the wind sea periods changes. Possible mechanisms driving the swell changes with no pronounced increase of the sea height and wind velocity are discussed. Changes in the intensities of intramonthly variability in different synoptic ranges are considered as the major agent of the increasing swell. The conclusion is made that the upward swell changes are driven by the intensification of high frequency synoptic processes

Document Type: Article
Keywords: North Atlantic; wind waves; climate changes in storminess
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
OceanRep > Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(199908)19:10<1091::AID-JOC403>3.0.CO;2-U
ISSN: 0899-8418
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 15:35

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