As the world continues to get more and more evidences confirming discernible shifts in climate scenario, here we have another one added to the list- the ocean waves are surging to new heights with rise in Earth's temperature.
According to a novel research by Oceanographer Peter Bromirski at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, waves are frequently surging to greater heights and surf reaching at least 13 feet (approximately 4 metres) off the coast of California.
“Waves ride on top of the sea level, which is rising due to climate change,” said Bromirski.
“When sea levels are elevated even further during storms, more wave energy can potentially reach vulnerable sea cliffs, flood low-lying regions, or damage coastal infrastructure”, he added.
Methodology: Studying seismic records
Meticulous scrutiny of evidences yielded by Bromiski's method of analysing seismic records dating back to 1931 indicated that the continuous warming of the planet was the primary reason behind the phenomenon.
The findings of the study stands as a testament to the profound impact of climate change on oceanic dynamics and coastal regions, reported the Associated Press.
Bromirski's research method diligently studied seismic records to chart the gradual transformation in wave height.
In simple terms, a reverberation of energy is generated through the seafloor every time a wave crashes against the shore which in turn generates a signal captured by seismographs which are deployed to take note of the parameters of seismic activities.The intensity of this signal correlates with the height of the waves.
Interpretation of a pool of data
In a bid to understand the changes in the wave heights in past decades, the researchers have scrutinised 90 long years of seismic data. They termed the database an "unprecedented record" of the waves that have pounded California’s coast over the past several decades.
The study also suggested that the winter wave heights along the Golden State have risen by nearly a foot since 1970, when global warming is believed to have begun accelerating while the swells these days are at least 13 feet tall, occurring at least twice as often between 1996 to 2016 than from 1949 to 1969.
Fate of coastal communities
As the ocean waves are reaching new heights these days, it also triggers the possibilities of additional flooding and erosion along California’s coastline, which is already threatened by elevating sea-level.
Going beyond the realm of data and statistics, the real-life implications of the phenomemon are include erosion, coastal flooding, and damage to vital infrastructure- all of which can potentially jeopardise the lives of coastal communities..