Extreme ocean waves are getting taller

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A 33-year-old study led by the University of Melbourne shows ocean wind and waves are increasing in intensity and height.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne studied wind speed and wave heights using roughly four billion observations from 31 different satellites that had been recorded between 1985 to 2018.

The data extracted from the satellites was also compared to measurements from more than 80 ocean buoys around the world.

Results from the study showed that strong winds in the Southern Ocean have increased by eight percent in the last 30 years. At the same time, extreme waves have increased by 5 percent, which equates to roughly 30 centimeters more in height.

Extreme winds have also risen in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the North Atlantic by roughly 0.6 meters per second over the last 30 years.

Changes in the Southern Ocean also affect wave climates in the South Pacific, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and determines the stability of beaches in the Southern Hemisphere.

These fluctuations in wave and wind intensity can also increase the probability of coastal flooding and erosion which puts coastal communities at risk.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Satellites measuring wind speeds and wave heights
2. Data extracted from ocean buoys
3. How much wind and waves have increased
4. Wind increase in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the North Atlantic

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Researchers from the University of Melbourne studied wind speed and wave heights using roughly four billion observations from 31 different satellites that had been recorded between 1985 to 2018. "

"The data extracted from the satellites was also compared to measurements from more than 80 ocean buoys around the world."

"Results from the study showed that strong winds in the Southern Ocean have increased by eight percent in the last 30 years. At the same time, extreme waves have increased by 5 percent, which equates to roughly 30 centimeters more in height."

"Extreme winds have also risen in the Pacific, Atlantic, and the North Atlantic by roughly 0.6 meters per second over the last 30 years."

SOURCES:
University of Melbourne, Pursuit, Science Magazine
https://about.unimelb.edu.au/newsroom/news/2019/april/33-year-study-shows-increasing-ocean-winds-and-wave-heights
https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/ocean-waves-and-winds-are-getting-higher-and-stronger
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/04/24/science.aav9527