Global warming: sea waves will change coast structure

Among the various effects of climate change that are now underway, a new study notes one that could involve ocean waves and their approach to the coasts, as well as the consequences on the latter.

According to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, if the global climate warms up more than 3 ° Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels, the sea off South Australia could be characterized by higher waves that could alter the stability of the coast itself.

Sea waves are in fact the main ones responsible for the modeling of the coasts: they form beaches, lagoons, caves, cliffs and so on, and therefore we must not think of them as a subject separate from the mainland. It is expected that the waves will change because surface winds will change , something that has already been emphasized in several previous studies.

However, the scientists behind this study calculate that less than 5% of the global coasts will see an increase in wave height, and this will mainly affect the southern coasts of Australia and some segments of the Central American Pacific coast.

Another 15% of the world’s coasts will instead see a decrease in wave height, another factor that could alter, although in a different way, coastal systems. And again, other areas will be the height of the waves to remain unchanged but should change their length or frequency. Also, in this case, there will be repercussions on the structure of the coasts.

In total, the researchers calculate that 40% of the world’s coasts will see substantial changes regarding the structure and frequency of the waves and this will involve changes regarding the structure of the coasts. And this without counting the rise in sea level, another major problem.

Alice Stevens

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Alice Stevens