A New Study Proves Extreme Winds Are Affecting Ocean Waves Height

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According to a new study conducted by a pair of scientists at the University of Melbourne, Australia, the increase in extreme winds leads to ocean waves growing larger.

Extreme Winds Could Affect Ocean Waves

The study used satellite data collected in a span of 33 years to detect changes that occurred in the ocean. The researchers created the largest database consisting of wind and wave-related data. What they found confirmed their speculations. It seems that in the period between 1985 and 2018, both winds and waves have significantly increased.

The discoveries were published in the Journal Science, this week on April 25.

Examining the fastest winds and highest waves, the clearest changes can be observed. Studying the top 10% of winds and ocean waves, scientists were able to find an increase of wind speed of 1.5 meters per second and an increase of waves height of 30 centimeters, both recorded in the same period.

They recorded increases of 8% and 5% for winds and waves respectively. These values might not seem alarming but, if they continue to grow, they might cause major issues in the future.

Main Causes Of Concern

Ian Young, one of the authors of the study, expressed his main concern. It seems that higher ocean waves are particularly frightening, as they can lead to many destructive impacts, like floodings, faster erosions of coastal lands and speeding up sea level rise. Therefore, it is urgent that methods of diminishing these effects are found. Otherwise, we are exposing ourselves to a considerable threat.

The researchers also said that, while these changes will impact the entire world, the most powerful effects will be felt mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. They also noted that they hope their study will help us achieve a better understanding of atmosphere-water relations.


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