Journal Article Future Projection of Ocean Wave Climate: Analysis of SST Impacts on Wave Climate Changes in the Western North Pacific

Shimura, Tomoya  ,  Mori, Nobuhito  ,  Mase, Hajime

28 ( 8 )  , pp.3171 - 3190 , 2015-04-15
Changes in ocean surface waves elicit a variety of impacts on coastal environments. To assess the future changes in the ocean surface wave climate, several future projections of global wave climate have been simulated in previous studies. However, previously there has been little discussion about the causes behind changes in the future wave climate and the differences between projections. The objective of this study is to estimate the future changes in mean wave climate and the sensitivity of the wave climate to sea surface temperature (SST) conditions in an effort to understand the mechanism behind the wave climate changes by specifically looking at spatial SST variation. A series of wave climate projections forced by surface winds from the MRI-AGCM3.2 were conducted based on SST ensemble experiments. The results yield future changes in annual mean wave height that are within about ±0.3 m. The future changes in summertime wave height in the western North Pacific (WNP), which are influenced by tropical cyclone changes, are highly sensitive to SST conditions. To generalize the result, the wave climate change and SST relation found by this study was compared with multimodel wave ensemble products from the Coordinated Ocean Wave Climate Project (COWCLIP). The spatial variation of SST in the tropical Pacific Ocean is a major factor in the wave climate changes for the WNP during summer.

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