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Response of the North Atlantic wave climate to atmospheric modes of variability

Martínez-Asensio, A., Tsimplis, M. N., Feng, X., Marcos, M., Gomis, D., Jordà, G. and Josey, S. A. (2016) Response of the North Atlantic wave climate to atmospheric modes of variability. International Journal of Climatology, 36 (3). pp. 1210-1225. ISSN 0899-8418

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/joc.4415


This study investigates the relationship between the wind wave climate and the main climate modes of atmospheric variability in the North Atlantic Ocean. The modes considered are the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the East Atlantic (EA) pattern, the East Atlantic Western Russian (EA/WR) pattern and the Scandinavian (SCAN) pattern. The wave dataset consists of buoys records, remote sensing altimetry observations and a numerical hindcast providing significant wave height (SWH), mean wave period (MWP) and mean wave direction (MWD) for the period 1989–2009. After evaluating the reliability of the hindcast, we focus on the impact of each mode on seasonal wave parameters and on the relative importance of wind-sea and swell components. Results demonstrate that the NAO and EA patterns are the most relevant, whereas EA/WR and SCAN patterns have a weaker impact on the North Atlantic wave climate variability. During their positive phases, both NAO and EA patterns are related to winter SWH at a rate that reaches 1 m per unit index along the Scottish coast (NAO) and Iberian coast (EA) patterns. In terms of winter MWD, the two modes induce a counterclockwise shift of up to 65° per negative NAO (positive EA) unit over west European coasts. They also increase the winter MWP in the North Sea and in the Bay of Biscay (up to 1 s per unit NAO) and along the western coasts of Europe and North Africa (1 s per unit EA). The impact of winter EA pattern on all wave parameters is mostly caused through the swell wave component.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:40962
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons

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