Wave variations may affect coasts

Much attention has been paid to sea-level rises, but variations in wave types may also have a big effect on coastal areas.

The results of a recent study, using different approaches from five groups around the world, have been compared and are some of the first simulations of wind and wave conditions. It was found that there will be a likely decrease in average wave heights across 25% of the globe, with a likely increase of 7% in other areas, predominantly in the Southern Ocean.

Around 20% of world coastlines are sandy beaches, with the majority being eroded, and 50% of Australia’s beaches are sand. Waves are a dominant driver of coastal change and variability of sea and swell can exceed the influence of sea-level rise.

Read more at CSIRO