Future Variations of Wave Climate in Winter Japan: Application of Pseudo Global Warming Dynamic Downscaling Method for CMIP5 output and a Wave Model Simulation

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Kenji Taniguchi, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
Ocean waves change alongshore topographies and their effects reach to ecological systems and coastal infrastructures. Ocean waves are mainly formed by sea surface wind, then variations in sea surface winds can cause changes in ocean waves. Under the condition of global warming, atmospheric motion will change in future climate and they will give changes in wave climates. However, effects of global warming on wave climate have not yet investigated in detail. In this study, a dynamic downscaling method by a weather prediction model (WRF developed by NCAR) is applied to obtain detail information of sea surface wind in the present and future climates. The ocean wave is simulated by a wave model (WaveWatch-III developed by NOAA) with the downscaled wind in the present and future climate, then variations in wave climate in future are investigated. For future climate, climate projections in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) are used. For future scenario, the representative concentrate pathways 4.5 (RCP4.5) is selected. Variations of ocean waves in the Sea of Japan is focused in this work. Over the Sea of Japan, the strong northwesterly blows from the Eurasian Continent to the Japan islands in winter and causes high waves, and sometimes it causes marine accidents and breaks in coastal civil structures. The results of WaveWatch-III showed that the maximum value of significant wave height becomes smaller in the northern and central part of the Sea of Japan, however, clear increases are found in the southern part in future. In some regions, the maximum wave heights in future become 4 meter larger than in present. On the other hand, there are variations in frequency distribution of significant wave height. The frequency of modestly high waves increases and the low wave frequency decreases mainly in January and February (even in areas with smaller maximum significant wave height in future). Without extremely high ocean waves, variations in frequency distribution on ocean wave will affect alongshore sediment transport and topography.