Wave climate projections along the Indian coast

Piyali Chowdhury, Manasa Ranjan Behera, Dominic E. Reeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Future changes in wave climate will influence the marine ecosystem, coastal erosion, design of coastal defences, operation of near- and off-shore structures, and coastal zone management policies and may further add to the potential vulnerabilities of coastal regions to projected sea level rise. Many studies have reported changes in the global wave characteristics under climate change scenarios, but it is important to project future changes in local/regional wave climate for smooth implementation of policies and preventing severe coastal erosion and flooding. In this study the regional wave climate along the Indian coast for two time slices, 2011–2040 and 2041–2070, is reported using an ensemble of near-surface winds generated by four different CMIP5 general circulation models (GCMs), under RCP4.5 scenario. Comparison of the wave climate for the two time slices shows an increase in wave heights and periods along much of the Indian coast, with the maximum wave heights increasing by more than 30% in some locations. An important finding is that at most locations along the east coast, wave periods are expected to increase by almost 20%, whereas along the west coast an increase of around 10% is expected. This will alter the distribution of wave energy at the shoreline through changes in wave refraction and diffraction, with potential implications for the performance and design of coastal structures and swash-aligned beaches. Furthermore, the computations show material changes in the directional distribution of waves. This is particularly important in determining the longshore transport of sediments and can lead to realignment of drift-aligned beaches, manifesting itself as erosion and/or siltation problems. This study is a preliminary contribution towards regional climate projections for the Indian Ocean region which are needed to plan and mitigate the impacts of future climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4531-4542
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number11
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Cite this