Decadal wave power variability in the North-East Atlantic and North Sea

H. Santo, Paul Taylor, T. Woollings, S. Poulson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Estimation of the long-term behavior of wave climate is crucial for harnessing wave energy in a cost-effective way. Previous studies have linked wave heights to the north-south atmospheric pressure anomalies in the North Atlantic, suggesting that the wave climate fluctuates as a response to changes in zonal circulation in the atmosphere. We identify changes in wave power in the North-East Atlantic that are strongly correlated to the dominant pressure anomalies, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and other modes. We present a reconstructed wave power climate for 1665-2005, using a combination of known and proxy indices for the NAO and other modes. Our reconstruction shows high interannual and multidecadal variability, which makes wave energy prediction challenging. This variability should be considered in any long-term reliability analysis for wave energy devices and in power scheme economics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4956-4963
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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