Wave power variability and trends across the North Atlantic influenced by decadal climate patterns

TitleWave power variability and trends across the North Atlantic influenced by decadal climate patterns
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBromirski PD, Cayan DR
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Oceans
Volume120
Pagination3419-3443
Date Published2015/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9275
Accession NumberWOS:000356628100015
KeywordsArctic; circulation regimes; coast; cyclone activity; geopotential height; hemisphere winter; NAO; North Atlantic; ocean; oscillation; pacific; perspectives; PNA; sea; wave power
Abstract

Climate variations influence North Atlantic winter storm intensity and resultant variations in wave energy levels. A 60 year hindcast allows investigation of the influence of decadal climate variability on long-term trends of North Atlantic wave power, P-W, spanning the 1948-2008 epoch. P-W variations over much of the eastern North Atlantic are strongly influenced by the fluctuating North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) atmospheric circulation pattern, consistent with previous studies of significant wave height, Hs. Wave activity in the western Atlantic also responds to fluctuations in Pacific climate modes, including the Pacific North American (PNA) pattern and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation. The magnitude of upward long-term trends during winter over the northeast Atlantic is strongly influenced by heightened storm activity under the extreme positive phase of winter NAO in the early 1990s. In contrast, P-W along the United States East Coast shows no increasing trend, with wave activity there most closely associated with the PNA. Strong wave power events exhibit significant upward trends along the Atlantic coasts of Iceland and Europe during winter months. Importantly, in opposition to the long-term increase of P-W, a recent general decrease in P-W across the North Atlantic from 2000 to 2008 occurred. The 2000-2008 decrease was associated with a general shift of winter NAO to its negative phase, underscoring the control exerted by fluctuating North Atlantic atmospheric circulation on P-W trends.

DOI10.1002/2014jc010440
Short TitleJ Geophys Res-Oceans
Student Publication: 
No