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Report: Wave height to increase

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Climate changes this century are expected to alter the highest waves and strongest winds across U.S. and U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, according to a new report released by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists from USGS and the University of California Santa Cruz ran four global climate models, using them to drive a global-wave model to look at the projected changes in wave heights, wave periods, and wave directions, and wind speed and wind direction on three Hawaiian Islands and 22 other locations on U.S.-affiliated islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Modeling results project that wind and wave patterns will change over the years throughout the century, and also over certain months and seasons within each year.

In general, extreme wave heights (the top 5 percent) are projected to increase from now until mid 21st century and then decrease toward the end of the 21st century. Peak wave periods (another measure of intensity) increase east of the International Date Line and are forecast to decrease west of the International Date Line. In equatorial Micronesia, extreme waves and winds are projected to undergo substantial (greater than 20 degrees) shifts in direction.

The full report is available here http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2015/1001/

 

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