Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scientists find waves are getting bigger

Ocean wind speeds and wave heights around the world have increased significantly over the past quarter of a century, according to Australian research that has given scientists their first global glimpse of the world's rising winds and waves.

Published in the journal Science today, the research – the most comprehensive of its kind ever undertaken – used satellite data collected from 1985 to 2008.

It shows the extreme wave height off the coast of south-west Australia today is six metres on average, more than a metre higher than in 1985.

"That has all sorts of implications for coastal engineering, navigation and erosion processes," said Alex Babanin, an oceanographer at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, and co-author of the paper. (read more)