Special CASPO Seminar: “Wind-Wave Climate, global and regional climate proxy and driver"

01/31/2017 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Prof. Alex Babanin

University of Melbourne


Abstract: Until recently, large-scale models did not explicitly take account of ocean surface

waves which are a process of a much smaller scale. It is, however, becoming obvious

that waves mediate a great number of processes both in the atmospheric boundary

layer and in the upper ocean. In addition, waves can potentially serve as a climate-

change indicator themselves and, together with surface winds have shown

increasing trends globally.

All these issues require knowledge of the wave climate. We will report investigation

of wave climate and its trends by means of satellite observations, and compare with

modelling when available. These include global trends and changes to regional

patterns in space and time.

As a specific example, the wave climate in the Arctic as observed by altimeters will

be presented in more detail. This is an important topic for the Arctic Seas, which are

opening from ice in summer time. Challenges, however, are many as their metocean

environment is more complicated and, in addition to winds and waves, requires

knowledge and understanding of ice properties and its trends. On one hand, no

traditional statistical approach is possible since in the past for most of the Arctic

Ocean there was limited wave activity. Extrapolations of the current trends into the

future are not feasible, because ice cover and wind patterns in the Arctic are

changing. On the other hand, information on the mean and extreme wave properties

is of great importance for oceanographic, meteorological, climate, naval and

maritime applications in the Arctic Seas.

For more information on this event, contact: 
Art Miller
Event Calendar: 
330 Spiess Hall