Climate Change Impacts on Storms and Waves Relevant to the UK and Ireland

Lucy Bricheno*, J. D. Amies, P. Chowdhury, David Kevin Woolf, Ben Timmermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


What is already happening
• There has been a poleward shift in the storm track since the 1990s and an increase in the annual mean number of storms.
• Mean significant wave height has reduced over the last 30 years in the north of the UK, and increased in the south.
• Observed trends in storms and waves cannot be directly attributed to climate change because of the high variability and limited understanding of mechanisms.
What could happen in the future
• Climate change could affect storms and waves in the North Atlantic, but natural variability will continue to dominate over the next few decades.
• The most severe waves could increase in height by 2100 under a high emissions scenario, but there could be an overall reduction in mean significant wave height in the North Atlantic.
• Projections suggest the wintertime storm track could intensify over the UK.
• The chance of severe storms reaching the UK during autumn may increase if tropical cyclones (such as hurricanes) become more intense, and their region of origin expands northwards.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMarine Climate Change Impacts Partnership
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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