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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Impact of tropical cyclones on modeled extreme wind-wave climate


The effect of forcing wind resolution on the extremes of global wind-wave climate are investigated in numerical simulations. Forcing winds from the Community Atmosphere Model at horizontal resolutions of ∼1.0° and ∼0.25° are used to drive Wavewatch III. Differences in extreme wave height are found to manifest most strongly in tropical cyclone (TC) regions, emphasizing the need for high-resolution forcing in those areas. Comparison with observations typically show improvement in performance with increased forcing resolution, with a strong influence in the tail of the distribution, although simulated extremes can exceed observations. A simulation for the end of the 21st century under a RCP 8.5 type emission scenario suggests further increases in extreme wave height in TC regions.

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