Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger

From EurekAlert!

Public Release: 14-Jan-2019

Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger

The energy in ocean waves has been increasing as a consequence of climate change, according to a new study

University of California – Santa Cruz

Increasing wave energy with climate change means more challenges for coastal risk and adaptation.

Sea level rise puts coastal areas at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, but new research shows they face other climate-related threats as well. In a study published January 14 in Nature Communications, researchers report that the energy of ocean waves has been growing globally, and they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy.

A wide range of long-term trends and projections carry the fingerprint of climate change, including rising sea levels, increasing global temperatures, and declining sea ice. Analyses of the global marine climate thus far have identified increases in wind speeds and wave heights in localized areas of the ocean in the high latitudes of both hemispheres. These increases have been larger for the most extreme values (e.g., winter waves) than for the mean conditions. However, a global signal of change and a correlation between the localized increases in wave heights and global warming had remained undetected.

The new study focused on the energy contained in ocean waves, which is transmitted from the wind and transformed into wave motion. This metric, called wave power, has been increasing in direct association with historical warming of the ocean surface. The upper ocean warming, measured as a rising trend in sea-surface temperatures, has influenced wind patterns globally, and this, in turn, is making ocean waves stronger.

“For the first time, we have identified a global signal of the effect of global warming in wave climate. In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions,” said lead author Borja G. Reguero, a researcher in the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Climate change is modifying the oceans in different ways, including changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation and water warming, according to coauthor Inigo J. Losada, director of research at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute at the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria), where the study was developed.

“This study shows that the global wave power can be a potentially valuable indicator of global warming, similarly to carbon dioxide concentration, the global sea level rise, or the global surface atmospheric temperature,” Losada said.

Understanding how the energy of ocean waves responds to oceanic warming has important implications for coastal communities, including anticipating impacts on infrastructure, coastal cities, and small island states. Ocean waves determine where people build infrastructure, such as ports and harbors, or require protection through coastal defenses such as breakwaters and levees. Indeed, wave action is one of the main drivers of coastal change and flooding, and as wave energy increases, its effects can become more profound. Sea level rise will further aggravate these effects by allowing more wave energy to reach shoreward.

While the study reveals a long-term trend of increasing wave energy, the effects of this increase are particularly apparent during the most energetic storm seasons, as occurred during the winter of 2013-14 in the North Atlantic, which impacted the west coast of Europe, or the devastating 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean, which offered a harsh reminder of the destructive power and economic impacts of coastal storms.

The effects of climate change will be particularly noticeable at the coast, where humans and oceans meet, according to coauthor Fernando J. Méndez, associate professor at Universidad de Cantabria. “Our results indicate that risk analysis neglecting the changes in wave power and having sea level rise as the only driver may underestimate the consequences of climate change and result in insufficient or maladaptation,” he said.

###

This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIUN).

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HotScot
January 15, 2019 2:17 am

Dear God. What next.

Rich Davis
Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 2:54 am

What a load of MalarkAlert!

Greg
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 15, 2019 5:39 am

In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures

The fact that both have a net average change in that time is not “correlation”. If both change in sync or with a constant phase delay you may have an argument.

MarkW
Reply to  Greg
January 15, 2019 8:00 am

So, they’ve been measuring wave power world wide? Or did they just measure one place and assume that it is happening everywhere?

Joel Snider
Reply to  MarkW
January 15, 2019 4:14 pm

It’s California. There IS nowhere else that matters.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Greg
January 15, 2019 10:38 am

Wait a minute. Without going any further, my BS-O-Meter says it cooled for about 30 years after 1948 (My birth year!). How then can warmth cause increases in wave strength of 0.4 %/year during that period?

Additionally, what proxies are they using for wave strength? Anything valid back 70 years?

Richard Patton
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 15, 2019 6:33 pm

Additionally, what proxies are they using for wave strength?
Good question. A wave created by a 30kt wind over a fetch of 300nm w/sst of 5C has **exactly** the same energy as a wave created by a 30kt wind over a fetch of 300nm w/sst of 10C. The energy contained by a wave has nothing to do with the temperature of the water.

Phil R
Reply to  Greg
January 15, 2019 11:14 am

I was going to comment on that too:

In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948…

Not sure I can do basic math anymore, but 0.4% per year is 4% per decade. Since 2018 is 70 years since 1948, they’re saying wave power has increased 28% over that period. All due to that all-powerful, trace GHG, CO2.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 15, 2019 9:09 am

man that CO2 is a mighty little molecule. What do you suppose that pesky little powerhouse is going to do next.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Bill Powers
January 15, 2019 5:34 pm

Well, we have one study that says it has already made “97% of all climate scientists” look like fools. I can’t imagine anything to top that.

Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 3:34 am

Spaniards are looking forward to the CalExit so they can reclaim their old colony
note:
This is research by University of California – Santa Cruz
This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science & Innovation

Curious George
Reply to  vukcevic
January 15, 2019 8:08 am

Isn’t UCSC a famous pot school?

GeologyJim
Reply to  Curious George
January 16, 2019 8:46 am

The UC Santa Cruz mascot is the Banana Slug

which is probably smarter than many of the students/staff

phaedo
Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 4:15 am

What a load of Griff.

R Shearer
Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 6:13 am

As far as I can tell, I have unequivocal proof that it thins one’s hair.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 6:19 am

There is a funnier part to this story if the waves were increasing the jason1 and jason 2 baselines would drift up showing an increase in sea level … look at how they deal with waves 🙂

The interesting part is jason 3 has improved wave handling and now look at it’s sea level rise data.

So rather than making a rather nice story it actually makes the situation with sea level rise messier.

LdB
Reply to  LdB
January 15, 2019 6:26 am

I should add the links so you get the problem
Jason2 wave height handling
https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/documents/hdbk_j2.pdf
Jason 3 wave height handling
https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/documents/hdbk_j3.pdf

In addition, radio pulses do not reflect from the mean sea level but from a level that depends on wave height and wind speed. The errors due to these processes cannot be ignored and must be removed.

For a typical significant wave height (SWH) of 2 meters, the sea state bias is about 10 cm, and the error (bias) in the sea state bias correction is approximately 1-2 cm. The noise of the sea state bias estimates depends mainly on the noise on the significant wave height estimates.

MarkW
Reply to  LdB
January 15, 2019 8:02 am

When the corrections to you data are orders of magnitude greater than the signal you claim to have found, you are dealing with science fiction, not science.

looncraz
Reply to  MarkW
January 15, 2019 9:27 am

That’s climate science in a nutshell…

The trend changes dramatically based on which adjustments and datasets you use. If your adjustments are making or breaking your trend you are clearly not hitting a significant enough genuine trend to elucidate.

looncraz
Reply to  LdB
January 15, 2019 9:24 am

Kind of what I was thinking… tide gauges and sea level measurements have the difficulty of waves… if wave strength increased then it could make sea level measurements bias higher (or, at least, I’d think so… I’ve never done a tide gauge measurement, myself).

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  HotScot
January 15, 2019 6:46 am

Couldn’t it just be to do with greatly improved data collection since 1948 so that they are comparing rotten apples with fresh ones which is the basic flaw in all so called climate ‘science’.

Wave energy varies with the square of height so plenty of room there for false ‘trends’.

Ron Long
January 15, 2019 2:19 am

Cowabunga, dude, surf’s up! Let’s see, ocean waves are mostly driven by surface winds, and these winds are the atmosphere adjusting higher pressure toward lower pressure events, minus or plus the drag on a spinning earth, so the report is claiming that wind speed is up? We were treated to a report some time ago that said wind speed was down (and negatively impacting the wind turbine complexes). The effect is most noticeable at the coast where humans and ocean meet? Doh! What has happened to Professors?

Ian Magness
Reply to  Ron Long
January 15, 2019 2:36 am

Absolutely Ron.
Also, as with so many of these “studies”, exactly how is this wave strength measured, with what recording devices, infrastructure and staffing, in how many places around the world (anything less than many hundreds of sites with good global distribution being too poor a sample) and for how long (anything below 100 years being largely irrelevant due to the need to cater for oceanic cycles like the AMO)?
In other words, what is the integrity and magnitude of the data that the authors seek to draw major scientific conclusions from which, in turn, are linked to their narrative about AGW?
We see this time and time again – significant conclusions drawn from pitiful amounts of data, much of which unreliable anyway, and thus any conclusions drawn are pure speculation, if not to say fantasy.

Alex
Reply to  Ian Magness
January 15, 2019 2:51 am

I designed one of these special measuring machines when I was 12. I used coloured pencils and everything.

R Shearer
Reply to  Alex
January 15, 2019 6:15 am

Don’t forget the power of the eraser.

MarkW
Reply to  R Shearer
January 15, 2019 8:03 am

Was it a colored eraser?

H.R.
Reply to  R Shearer
January 15, 2019 1:16 pm

That was raaayciist, MarkW.
😜

Alex
Reply to  Alex
January 15, 2019 2:50 pm

I apologise to all for being politically incorrect. I should have said ‘pencils of colour’.

Gamecock
Reply to  Ian Magness
January 15, 2019 6:44 am

Not only that, but from where did they get data for 1948 to compare it to?

‘In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions’

Not only can we not measure global ‘wave power,’ we don’t know global sea-surface temperatures, either.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Ron Long
January 15, 2019 10:31 am

Here is a WUWT reference to decrease (atmospheric stilling):
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/05/study-global-wind-speed-dropping-wind-farms-victim-of-atmospheric-stilling/
One of the requirements to be a climate scientist must be no functional memory. Maybe the climate colleges do memoryectomies on incoming students.

E J Zuiderwijk
January 15, 2019 2:24 am

As with all such alarmist nonsense this flies in the face of elementary physics. The energy in waves derives from the strength of the wind driving them. Not from water temperature.

SteveTa
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
January 15, 2019 2:42 am

try reading the whole thing.

“The upper ocean warming, measured as a rising trend in sea-surface temperatures, has influenced wind patterns globally, and this, in turn, is making ocean waves stronger.”

kent beuchert
Reply to  SteveTa
January 15, 2019 3:17 am

Winds have declined over the past 30-40 years. Read anything concerning wind turbine history
and you will know this.

Rich Davis
Reply to  SteveTa
January 15, 2019 3:22 am

@Steve Ta
Wind is the result of a pressure difference between two areas. Pressure differece is the result of air density difference. Air density difference is the result of differential heating of the surface. Now we’re told that global warming reduces cooling at night and has its greatest effect at the poles. Both factors should result in more uniform temperatures and pressures across the globe. With a lower pressure gradient, there would be less wind and thus smaller waves.

Reading the whole thing is like eating the whole bag of marshmallows (when I can’t stand to eat even one).

Or, the short form:

EurekAlert!
Say no more

SteveTa
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 15, 2019 8:08 am

My comment related only to the comment from E J Zuiderwijk which seemed to imply that that poster had not read the full article.

My comment does not say or imply that winds have actually changed.

Flight Level
January 15, 2019 2:25 am

Shall we conclude that warm seas imply scary destruction waves while cold seas are calm and gentle ?

Ron Long
Reply to  Flight Level
January 15, 2019 3:09 am

Good point, FL. Some people should try sailing around Tierra de Fuego and see what GIANT cold waves are like.

john
Reply to  Flight Level
January 15, 2019 8:31 am

For sure! Just check out the luxury sailing that corvettes had in the N. Atlantic during WWII.

Rod Evans
January 15, 2019 2:25 am

Another study to be filed under the general heading. “What has Global Warming ever done for us”
The strange thing is, as global warming is supposed to be most evident at the poles, thus the surface water (what there is of it) will be warmer there. That will reduce the wind energy driver, which is the difference between the tropics water temp, and the polar water temp. With that in mind shouldn’t the effect of sea temp rise be reduced winds and hence reduced wave activity?
Of course, it is always possible the AGW alarmists have stumbled unexpectedly onto a new energy source. Maybe it is global hot air blowing across the planet…?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rod Evans
January 15, 2019 3:27 am

Another Gore Effect?

More money needed to study

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Rod Evans
January 15, 2019 11:23 am

If wave energy is increasing contrary to the reduced-wind argument, will the increased wave energy have a cooling effect on the ocean surface? The ocean temperature below 1000m depth is typically 4C or cooler. Increased wave energy should help with the mixing.

Could it be that ocean heating promotes ocean cooling? Is there a feedback mechanism here??

Johann Wundersamer
January 15, 2019 2:27 am

storm seasons, as occurred during the winter of 2013-14 in the North Atlantic,

What idiots – 2013 / 2014 were La Niña years too.

Clive Bond
January 15, 2019 2:52 am

The air in contact with the ocean, UV long wave radiation does not penetrate water. The ocean is warmed down to 100 metres, by direct sunlight, short wave radiation. It’s got nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

January 15, 2019 2:52 am

The wind is up, the wind is down, the waves are up, the waves are down. Whatever the truth, our grants keep rolling in with each newly minted catastrophic scare that we can release on the public.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Nicholas William Tesdorf
January 15, 2019 3:22 am

Laugh of the day!

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Nicholas William Tesdorf
January 15, 2019 5:06 am

And when the wind is half-way up, they’re neither up or down.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
January 16, 2019 7:24 am

But still milking the tax-payer.

Auto

tty
January 15, 2019 3:02 am

The paper is available here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-08066-0

The results are very largely model-based, not measured, as I expected and the older data are all reanalysis/hindcasts.

An interesting thing is that almost the entire increase seems to be in the Southern Ocean, particularly in recent years (Fig 1.)

Now what is special with the Southern Ocean:

1. It is cold
2. It is stormy
3. There is virtually nobody there

The perfect place for predictions, who would notice if they are wrong?

TDBraun
Reply to  tty
January 15, 2019 3:33 am

It does site one measurement study:
“Satellite-based altimeter measurements from 1985 to 2008 reveal increases of 0.25% per year for the 90th wave height percentile and 0.50% per year for the 99th percentile, in both hemispheres9. ”
Based on this study: Young, I. R., Zieger, S. & Babanin, aV. Global trends in wind speed and wave height. Sci. (80-.). 332, 451–455 (2011).
That study says in abstract: “… We used a 23-year database of calibrated and validated satellite altimeter measurements to investigate global changes in oceanic wind speed and wave height over this period. We find a general global trend of increasing values of wind speed and, to a lesser degree, wave height, over this period. The rate of increase is greater for extreme events as compared to the mean condition.”

So, it is based on 23 years of satellite data, with the rest of the claims based on what they call “hindcast data”. (Hindcast projections are “data”?)

The measured data is interesting. But the study is based on data already 10 years old. Does the more recent data support the trend that is being claimed on only 23 years of data (not long enough to prove the trend is not caused by natural cycles).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TDBraun
January 15, 2019 4:47 am

“So, it is based on 23 years of satellite data, with the rest of the claims based on what they call “hindcast data”.”

I was wondering where they got that 1948 data they claimed to have.

They are making some pretty bold predictions based on not a lot of data. This is endemic in the Climate Science Fiction world.

If you didn’t read WUWT one might actually take something like this seriously. Heck, it was peer-reviewed!

john
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 15, 2019 9:02 am

The peers are the ones to take least seriously of all.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 15, 2019 11:03 am

I wonder if any of the ‘peers’ raised some of the questions posted at WUWT?

Rod Evans
Reply to  TDBraun
January 15, 2019 4:58 am

The thing about Hindcast is the more common name for it, is bull***t

Paul Stevens
Reply to  TDBraun
January 15, 2019 5:40 am

0.4% change in energy. Sorry, I didn’t read the paper, but the first thing I thought of when I saw 4/1000 change in energy is what is their error range? Are satellites measuring wave height going to provide an accurate enough measure to be able to reasonably say they have detected a 0.4% change in energy?

Phoenix44
Reply to  TDBraun
January 15, 2019 8:05 am

I can just about understand how a satellite measures a temperature but how does it measure a wind speed?

Rich Davis
Reply to  tty
January 15, 2019 3:34 am

Tut tut tty, so cynical. These people are sincere and pure as the driven snow that our children won’t know.

I’m sure that they are as distressed as you are that their predictions apply to an area where it is very inconvenient to verify.

Robert of Ottawa
January 15, 2019 3:21 am

Increasing wave energy with climate change means more challenges for coastal risk and adaptation.

But great for surfers! Are there Paleosurfers who study historical surfing patterns?

Chaamjamal
January 15, 2019 3:22 am

“Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger”

Is that sonething for humans to manage and for humans to decide how strong the waves should be and then to tweak mother nature and to get her to behave?

Have we lost our minds?

https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/06/ohc/

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Chaamjamal
January 15, 2019 7:19 am

No, WE haven’t. But the so-called “climate scientists,” for the most part, are batshit crazy, and guilty of over the top hubris.

Phoenix44
Reply to  Chaamjamal
January 15, 2019 8:07 am

The question I always ask people when they say ” we must do something” is this: if we can prove unequivocally that all the changes you say we must prevent are 100% natural, do you still want us to try and stop the changes?

Robert of Ottawa
January 15, 2019 3:26 am

Sing along, you all know the tune

Blow the wind southerly, southerly,
southerly, Blow the wind south for the bonny blue sea.
Blow the wind southerly, southerly,
southerly, Blow, bonny breeze, my money to me.

TDBraun
January 15, 2019 3:36 am

The study admits in its introduction:
“Despite the changes detected in different wave parameters, a global and long-term time series of the effect of climate change in the global wave climate remains undetected.”

Yet the entire article clearly is claiming that “climate change” (global warming) is causing stronger and taller waves. They admit they can’t prove the hypothesis, but doesn’t let it stop them from making the claim in the headline anyway.

VicV
Reply to  TDBraun
January 15, 2019 6:42 am

Sounds like the leaks from the Mueller investigation.

Steve O
January 15, 2019 4:13 am

I don’t know how they determine wave energy from 1948, but I haven’t read the study. I understand the desire of scientists to “for the first ever blah blah blah climate change blah blah blah,” but I’m not comfortable simply dismissing the study with diving into it.

Phoenix44
Reply to  Steve O
January 15, 2019 8:11 am

I understand your point, but this is just another study where you can dismiss it without bothering to read the whole thing. Can they possibly have the data to make these claims? Simple answer is no. Can they possibly have the proof of causation they claim? Simple answer is again no.

So if they can’t be measuring the thing properly over a decent amount of time and they can’t show what is causing something they can’t measure, what is the point?

John Davis
January 15, 2019 4:43 am

If wave energy has been increasing at 0.4% a year since 1948, that means that over the period it must have increased in total by 32%.
I’m amazed no-one noticed earlier.
/sarc.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Davis
January 15, 2019 11:00 am

Uh, 28%? My age times 0.4%.

michael hart
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 15, 2019 1:54 pm

1.004^70=1.32
But it’s immaterial, they are smoking crack.

mike macray
January 15, 2019 4:44 am

“…..wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948…

Could this be evidence of the advance of the ‘silly season’ ( march madness/ mad as a march hare etc.) into january… due to global warming?
Just musing
Cheers
Mike

john
Reply to  mike macray
January 15, 2019 9:06 am

The ones in my bath tub have decreased substantially over that same time period. If they were like they were in the 60’s I wouldn’t even be able to sleep.

Tom in Florida
January 15, 2019 4:58 am

If Laird Hamilton agreed, I might believe this.

Ve2
January 15, 2019 5:23 am

100 foot waves at Nazare

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Ftok14M5p8g

Should be really big in 100 years time.

ScottyP
January 15, 2019 5:25 am

I’ve observed that beach erosion is much worse in the winter when the water is cold than in summer when the water is warm. I don’t care how much “energy” a wave carries, winter waves are just different and much more destructive. May the higher water viscosity carries sand away better, maybe the wave period is more destructive, who knows. Summer waves tend to build offshore sandbars and build beaches up and winter waves tear everything down.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  ScottyP
January 15, 2019 5:56 am

I would look at direction of the waves. If they are coming straight on shore there will be less erosion. If they tend to hit shore on a sideways angle there will be more erosion.

Menicholas
Reply to  ScottyP
January 15, 2019 7:52 am

Physical geography 101.
Large waves move sand offshore and steepen the beach, gentle waves move sand onshore and cause a more flat beach to form.
In fall, winter and spring, mid-latitude cyclones are more frequent and more powerful, so waves are larger.
This is textbook stuff well understood for at least the past 50 years, and I do not think it was brand new insight then.

Bruce Cobb
January 15, 2019 5:57 am

No, wait, I think they may be on to something. The missing heat, through the miracle of CarbonPhysics™ has transformed itself into wind energy, thus making for bigger, stronger waves. Eureka!

January 15, 2019 6:09 am

“wave power”
Thanks for my salary.
What can I think up for next month?
Gee, I’d like a membership in a nice club.
I want to send my kids to private school.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
January 15, 2019 6:32 am

I’m only amazed that they didn’t discover that these supposedly 32 per cent more powerful since 1948 waves haven’t been increasing continental drift by crashing more energetically into continental shelves and triggering more volcanic activity and earthquakes to boot. Making this stuff up really isn’t difficult if you just disregard worrying about anything except being right on and getting more grant money.

Oh wait, is this how islands are going to be tipped over like the congressman believed?

Gamecock
January 15, 2019 6:53 am

‘A wide range of long-term trends and projections carry the fingerprint of climate change, including rising sea levels, increasing global temperatures, and declining sea ice.’

None of which are happening, except for sea levels, the rate of which is nominal.

‘Analyses of the global marine climate thus far have identified increases in wind speeds and wave heights in localized areas of the ocean in the high latitudes of both hemispheres.’

Ahh . . . so it’s not global, but rather high latitudes. But you feel authorized to declare it for the full earth and scare people with ‘Sea level rise puts coastal areas at the forefront of the impacts of climate change.’

There is no such thing as a global marine climate. Climate is regional. It is weather over time. Weather is atmospheric. Marine is not atmospheric.

‘These increases have been larger for the most extreme values (e.g., winter waves) than for the mean conditions.’

Ahh . . . it’s seasonal, too.

‘However, a global signal of change and a correlation between the localized increases in wave heights and global warming had remained undetected.’

Thank God you found it!

icisil
January 15, 2019 7:11 am

What happens when you turn universities into profit centers, flood them with students via easily accessible student loans and lower academic standards to guarantee graduation of marginal students?

A plethora of busy-work scientific papers (publish or perish) to preserve academic country club member privilege.

Insufficiently Sensitive
Reply to  icisil
January 15, 2019 7:27 am

What happens when you turn universities into profit centers

UC Santa Cruz is ALREADY a profit center from those of its students who select it for its proximity to Steamer Lane. What better self-gruntling studies could be made, than those of wave power?

icisil
Reply to  Insufficiently Sensitive
January 15, 2019 7:46 am

Oh hell yeah. I remember O’Neil surfboards.

It was at Steamer Lane that the modern surfing wetsuit and the leash were mainly developed by Jack O’Neill, who had his surf shop nearby for many years and lost his eye at Steamer Lane

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamer_Lane

icisil
Reply to  icisil
January 15, 2019 7:58 am

I had a long board exactly like this. It was so heavy it built muscle mass just moving it around. Lethal. Nearly killed my brother.

http://www.surfboardshack.com/upimages/556379024_sbs2.jpg

Insufficiently Sensitive
January 15, 2019 7:20 am

they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy.

Nowhere in this four-alarm article do these learned savants make any attempt to explain to us rubes how it is exactly that warmer water makes more energetic waves. I suppose we’re allowed to guess that a tiny decrease in water viscosity allows a tiny increase in energy absorption under long-term winds, but some numbers would do wonders for their credibility.

Meanwhile, the surfboard industry can cheerfully promise enhanced experiences under these benefits of global warming. We’ll look for the new advertising blitz, coming soon to your coastal neighborhood!

HD Hoese
January 15, 2019 7:40 am

When wind impacts the ocean it puts its energy into both increasing height and horizontal velocity. Geologists and coastal engineers have long been interested in this transfer of energy, as one example movement of sediment along shorelines. Old physics books say that cold air is denser so higher temperatures might allow higher wave heights, all other things being equal, which in the ocean never are. Then again colder, denser air should move more energy into waves. There is also the complication of swells from distances and origins past and the state of the sea surface from fetch, and surfactants for example, pour oil on the sea.

When did temperature first appear in such formulas? I would be more interested in changes in cold and warm front frequency. Density of air is important but so is that of the ocean.

Have not seen the paper but if they are so smart let them harvest the energy from waves. Old idea, easily fails. Doubt if the authors have been to sea much. At the same wind speed I always felt safer at higher temperatures but those were times of old history.

Alan Tomalty
January 15, 2019 7:46 am

From the actual study

“The WP for an irregular sea state can be obtained from wave spectral parameters using the following expression60:
WP=ρg264π⋅Te⋅(Hs)2

where Te or T−10 is known as the energy period. This parameter can be estimated from the spectral shape and other parameters. ”

“For the same reasons, correctly modeling HS is critical for an accurate assessment of the global WP.”

“Information on wave heights collected using buoys and satellite altimetry do not provide continuous data over space and time, and so require numerical climate reconstructions in order to study historical climate states”

WHAT PROXIES CAN POSSIBLY BE USED TO RECONSTRUCT WAVE POWER FROM THE PAST? OH LOOK AT NEXT SENTENCE.

“We use numerical wave models, combined and validated with instrumental sources, to describe the global wave climate across different time periods”.

THEY DO NOT SAY HOW THE ARGO BUOYS VALIDATE THE WAVE MODELS EXCEPT BY STATISTICAL TESTS?

“Relating changes in SST to changes in WP

Correlations were computed between the global time series, by years and seasons, and spatially over each ocean sub-basin. The correlation was assessed through the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r, which is a measure of the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables. The statistical significance was calculated through the Student’s t-test at the 95% confidence level.

Correlations were also calculated for the time series of the non-autocorrelated residuals. The non-autocorrelated residuals were obtained after adjusting the autoregressive moving-average models to each global and regional time series in order to avoid autocorrelation effects in the statistical analysis, and to identify the existence of non-contemporaneous relationships80. The non-autocorrelated residuals ignore the effects of trends and autoregression from the original time series and, thus represent the variability (at the temporal scale) of the original time series (yearly or seasonally). Given a time series, Xt, we fitted an ARMA(m, n) model by:
Xt−(∝1Xt−1+…∝mXt−m)−(θ1εt−1+…θnεt−n)=εt

where ∝m is the parameter of the autoregressive part of the model, θn is the parameter of the moving-average part of the model, and εt is the error term. Non-autocorrelation of the residuals was statistically tested with the Ljung–Box test.”

This whole study is 1 piece of statistical circular reasoning and parameterization. Using those bogus techniques, I can “prove” to you that the moon is made from green cheese.

DH
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 15, 2019 11:23 am

Indeed. Hindcast data is for engineering. You don’t do science with it. Especially not THIS type of science.

tty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 15, 2019 2:17 pm

ARGO buoys don’t measure wave heights. It takes special moored buoys with accelerometers. They are few and far between: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/links/atlabuoy.shtml

Notice that there is exactly one (1) buoy on the whole Atlantic Coast of Africa which is one of the areas with the greatest increase in wave power according to the pape.

Menicholas
January 15, 2019 7:47 am

Why am I skeptical that anyone can say what the total “global wave energy” is right now, let alone back in 1946? Or any year in between?
And why are waves bad?

MarkW
January 15, 2019 7:59 am

They can’t find any increase in wind speed, however they know for a fact that this increase in wind speed that they can’t find is creating bigger waves.

AGW is not Science
January 15, 2019 8:19 am

‘A wide range of long-term trends and projections carry the fingerprint of climate change, including rising sea levels, increasing global temperatures, and declining sea ice.’

Hello Josh? We need a cartoon on this – for the forensic experts coming up with a “hit” on the “fingerprint of climate change” – with “Mother Nature” on the monitor being identified as the culprit (as in REALITY).

Prjindigo
January 15, 2019 11:03 am

Upper ocean warming is 100% attributable to the international oil sheen on the ocean… which is reducing wave count overall…

Joel O'Bryan
January 15, 2019 11:46 am

Let’s look at some first principle reasoning.

Wave power (wave height) is a combination of wind field speed and Reynolds number of the fluid as the wind field pushes across the fluid surface.

Reynolds number (Re) is inversely related to kinematic viscosity. Kinematic viscosity is the ratio of dynamic viscosity over density. Thus decreasing kinematic viscosity (or dynamic viscosity) will increase Re. Increasing Re will create higher waves for the same wind speed. However, the scientific/engineering question is, “Is the effect measurable within uncertainty for the temperature changes under question?”

Sea water (at 36 g/L salinity) dynamic viscosity is slightly temperature dependent. Empirical tables tells us that moving from from 29 deg C to 30 deg C (warming) decreases dynamic viscosity from 0.00088 Ns/m^2 to 0.00086 Ns/m^2, a ~2.5% decrease/deg C. But seawater density also decreases with temp, but not nearly as fast, about 0.5%/deg C. Thus kinematic viscosity decreases about 2%/deg C in the range of SST temps of interest (20-30 deg C).

So as SST rises also Re rises. A 1 deg C rise in SST will increase Re by about 2%. So at most, Re has increased less than 2%, as global SST rise has been slightly less than 1 deg C since 1948. With an uncertainty of probably at least 5% in WP change, I doubt a 2% change has any significance out of a noisy measurement.

(for NOAA’s global SST changes, see this chart:
comment image

Note: the scale on that chart is in Fahrenheit.)

Now compare this to the statement made by Dr. Borja G. Reguero:
“In fact, wave power has increased globally by 0.4 percent per year since 1948, and this increase is correlated with the increasing sea-surface temperatures, both globally and by ocean regions,…”

The energy from wind is what generates waves of course to make Wave Power (WP). But for every climate model simulation that projects a wind energy increase to 2050 or 2100, you can find one that predicts an oceanic winds decrease. Thus wind speed changes of the ocean under CC is very uncertain. So what does history tell us?

Historically we know the oceanic trade winds strengthen during periods of global cooling like 1940-1970, and winds weakened as from 1910-1940, a period when global surface air temps increased by about 0.4 deg C.

So over much of the period under study, 1948 to today, trade winds increased to about 1977 and diminished somewhat to 2000. Since 2000, trade winds have been strengthening, suggesting an on-going deep ocean cooling cycle (and that gave us the Pause). (Note: the direction of causality is difficult because trade winds and SST are coupled processes. That is more wind speed increases the more deep water overturning occurs, and deep water overturning brings colder water to the surface thus cooling the climate).

However every climatologist is in general agreement that weaker trade winds will accelerate climate change warming as oceanic surface-deepwater overturning is decreased. This will keep more warmth in the upper layer of the seas and thereby warming the surface air temps. So for a climateer to suggests ocean Wave Power will increase as ocean wind field speeds diminish under CC is simply spewing nonsense.

As far as storms go for generating waves, the IPCC reports are quite uncertain about stronger storms over the oceans. Most honest climatologists will tell you that as the temperature gradient between the tropics and the poles decrease under CC, then storm strength will lessen. The dishonest climatologist of course always predicts more intense storms under CC regardless of the physics under consideration.

So in those 70 years since 1948, this climateer is claiming wave power increased by 28%. I find that hugely unlikely due to an SST effect on Re, but merely a likely result of oceanic wind speed increase during the Pause since ~2000. And oceanic winds speeds (thus WP) will increase as the SST cooling proceeds to a return us to the Pause (hiatus) state in the coming years. And the observed increase in WP since 2000 will likely revert back to the mean under a warming/diminishing wind speed cycle sometime after 2030-2035.

And in any case, the climateers say that oceanic wind speeds will diminish under CC global warming as oceanic overturning decreases. So Borja G. Reguero’s claim on Wave Power and warming under CC is hogwash by both first principle and by even the climateers’ own dogma concerning CC effects on ocean winds.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 15, 2019 12:25 pm

As I said, a real pisser when your study contradicts dogma, even if you didn’t mean to do it.

CO2isLife
January 15, 2019 1:06 pm

Once again, warmer oceans are due to more visible radiation reaching the oceans, not LWIR between 13 and 18 microns. Simply look up what wavelengths warm water. The immediate surface of the oceans is cooler than the water 1mm lower. LWIR between 13 and 18 micron aids evaporation which cools the surface. Visible radiation is needed to warm the deeper oceans.
An Einstein Thought Experiment on Climate Change
https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/an-einstein-thought-experiment-on-climate-change/

Bill In Oz
January 15, 2019 1:23 pm

Has anyone involved in this asked the surfers ?
They ride the waves
Bigger stronger waves are looked for & welcomed by surfers.

My son is a surfer..

his thought is no change in the past 15 years.Riding waves in East coast Australia and Bass strait..

ATheoK
January 15, 2019 1:25 pm

tty and quite a few others have nailed this bafflegab research coupled with non-predictive waffle words.

Some of the bafflegab and hints to methods:

“Here we show that the global wave power, which is the transport of the energy transferred from the wind into sea-surface motion, has increased globally (0.4% per year) and by ocean basins since 1948“.
Increased globally by 0.4%? An annual 1.8mm sea level rise is entirely blamed on CAGW and somehow causes 0.4% bigger meaner waves?

Plus their alleged calculations are applied to waves globally. That “and by ocean basins since 1948” appears to be meaningless in their paper.

“We also find long-term correlations and statistical dependency with sea surface temperatures, globally and by ocean sub-basins, particularly between the tropical Atlantic temperatures and the wave power in high south latitudes, the most energetic region globally. Results indicate the upper-ocean warming, a consequence of anthropogenic global warming, is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger.”

SST causes bigger meaner waves?
From NASA

“Temperatures are measured from approximately 10 µm below the surface (infrared bands) to 1mm (microwave bands) depths using radiometers.”

A few millimeters of ocean surface causes bigger meaner waves?

“We use long time series based on historical wind-wave and SST datasets covering from 1948 to 2017. GWP and SST are analyzed based on correlation of the time series and their non-autocorrelated residuals, information theory, long-term trends, and regression analysis.”

Long term is since 1948?

“GWP and SST are analyzed based on correlation of the time series”
Time series correlation?
Either they are learning to use a dictionary, or they are garbling their research.
Research writing that leaves a big question mark regarding “non-autocorrelated residuals, information theory, long-term trends, and regression analysis”

“The effects of climate change will particularly be present at the coast, where humans and oceans meet.”

Indeed?
Why!?

“Wave heights have been increasing in recent decades, particularly at the high latitudes of both hemispheres. Increases have been larger for the extreme values as compared to the mean conditions. Satellite-based altimeter measurements from 1985 to 2008 reveal increases of 0.25% per year for the 90th wave height percentile and 0.50% per year for the 99th percentile, in both hemispheres. Hindcast data also show significant increases in extreme wave heights at the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere

Hindcast!?

“Not only is SST a critical driver in ocean atmosphere circulation but it is also one of the global indicators of ocean warming.”

Ah, no.
The surface is a very shallow measurement.
The oceans are deep.
Conflating the two is incorrect.

“This study combines satellite altimetry and model results (validated with buoy measurements) to determine GWP because observations from buoys and satellite altimetry do not provide continuous data over space and time.”

Model results combined with infilling.

“uses improved parameterizations and high-resolution wind forcing (the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, CFSR hereafter)30; GOW-CFSR, with the same model parameterizations and the wind forcing than RaA13 but with data up to the year 201731; and wave height measurements from satellite altimeter data from 1992–2008, instead of wave modeling results.”

From UCAR:CLIMATE FORECAST SYSTEM REANALYSIS (CFSR)

“The CFSR is a third generation reanalysis product. It is a global, high resolution, coupled atmosphere-ocean-land surface-sea ice system designed to provide the best estimate of the state of these coupled domains over this period.”

“KEY LIMITATIONS:
Relatively few evaluations of CFSR have been conducted so the performance is not well-known
Ocean-atmosphere interactions are not used directly. Rather the information is used for background information. The actual reanalysis is uncoupled.

“NOAA’s optimum interpolation SST (OISST), an independent high-resolution dataset that combines observations from different platforms (satellites, ships and buoys) from late 1981 to the present”

This sounds like the Karl modified SST dataset to better match ship board and bucket measurements.

etc. etc. etc…

Thom
January 15, 2019 3:43 pm

Stronger waves= More alternative energy! Yay!

Joel Snider
January 15, 2019 4:16 pm

I thought the heat was hiding at the BOTTOM of the sea.

Gordon Dressler
January 15, 2019 5:52 pm

I’m betting that there is a correlation between the increase in global wave energy and the increase in number of Argo autonomously diving/surfacing scientific instruments that have been deployed in the world’s oceans. Did the study’s researchers normalize the data for this?

I recall as a child what happened to the water surface wherever a submerged Rubber Ducky popped up.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
January 15, 2019 6:02 pm

Ocean waves primarily relate to Moon’s phases at short term; cyclonic activity at longer term. The cyclonic activity follow the natural variability in climate change. So far practically there is no global warming to impact ocean tides. Along the Indian coastal zone, the wave impact changed with the destruction of mangroves [act as protective wall to control tidal waves]. Also, the major cyclonic period in India has not changed on long term basis but some researchers to get sensation use a trucated data set of cyclic pattern and come up with sensational conclusions. Media gives hype to such studies. It appears the present study is one such.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Michael J. Fitzgerald
January 15, 2019 6:15 pm

And here I thought waves were becoming more energetic because environmental laws have us spilling far less oil onto the sea surface, thus reducing the wave damping Marangoni effect.

Admad
January 16, 2019 3:41 am

I’ve got a great idea triggered by this drivel. AlGorebal Warming causes increased wave heights, these reach closer to the moon, transferring a slingshot effect to the satellite. We already know that the moon is receding from Earth, the additional angular momentum transferred through the slingshot effect will accelerate the Moon’s recession until it reaches escape velocity and voila! No moon. Global Warming affects planetary motion. If I can get the paper written up tonight, can one of you guys pal-review it for me, then we can get it published in EuCrazyAlert and NY Times, and the grants will come rolling in for sure. Split the cash 50/50. Who’s for it?

RoHa
January 17, 2019 9:18 pm

Yea! Surf’s up!

Will it help Salter’s duck?

Dale Cutler
January 22, 2019 8:43 pm

Contrary to what Christian climate change deniers in the US appear to believe (not that I believe it is primarily anthropogenic), it seems that the Bible – and in particular, the Carpenter from Galilee – speaks to climate change. It also seems unlikely that it is going to get better. The “distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves” of Luke 21:25 describes climate change well, with rising sea levels and weather extremes, although he may be referring to tsunamis, or both. Some megacryometeors may be a result of climate change, so it would not be a surprise if they became more frequent (cf. Revelation 16:21). Bloody red algae blooming seas, fires, floods and famines are also mentioned – earthquakes, too. Since big bang cosmology’s telling us that space and time(!) had a beginning fits so nicely with Genesis 1:1, I’m inclined to believe more of the Book as well, and it says we live in a dying world.

Given the brokenness of people (all of us) and the corruption in and the ineptitude of governments – first and third world, it doesn’t seem likely that climate change is fixable, even if it were all anthropogenic. And any global financial, geopolitical or geophysical disaster could effectively scrap any unenforceable political agreements (Trump is a geopolitical disaster). That does not mean that I am not in favor of greener solutions for energy and cleaner air!

Counterintuitively, perhaps, since many consider the Judeo-Christian God as a vindictive and angry judge, the most frequent mandate in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid” (or one of its several variations, e.g., “Fret not” and “Be anxious for nothing”). That would include not being anxious about politics, climate change and terrorism. Father is in control, like it or not. It would be better to like it. Also counterintuitive, perhaps: he is a loving – and lovable – Father.

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