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Global projections of storm surges using high-resolution CMIP6 climate models

September 15, 2023

In the coming decades, coastal flooding will become more frequent due to sea-level rise and potential changes in storms. To produce global storm surge projections from 1950 to 2050, we force the Global Tide and Surge Model with a ∼25-km resolution climate model ensemble from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP). This is the first time that such a high-resolution ensemble is used to assess changes in future storm surges across the globe. We validate the present epoch (1985–2014) against the ERA5 climate reanalysis, which shows a good overall agreement. However, there is a clear spatial bias with generally a positive bias in coastal areas along semi-enclosed seas and negative bias in equatorial regions. Comparing the future epoch (2021–2050) against the historical epoch (1951–1980), we project ensemble-median changes up to 0.1 (or 20%) in the 1 in 10-year storm surge levels. These changes are not uniform across the globe with decreases along the coast of Mediterranean and northern Africa and southern Australia and increases along the south coast of Australia and Alaska. There are also increases along (parts) of the coasts of northern Caribbean, eastern Africa, China and the Korean peninsula, but with less agreement among the HighResMIP ensemble. Information resulting from this study can be used to inform broad-scale assessment of coastal impacts under future climate change.

Publication Year 2023
Title Global projections of storm surges using high-resolution CMIP6 climate models
DOI 10.1029/2023EF003479
Authors Sanne Muis, Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts, José A. Á. Antolínez, Job C. Dullaart, Trang Minh Duong, Li H. Erikson, Rein J. Haarsma, Maialen Irazoqui Apecechea, Matthias Mengel, Dewi Le Bars, Andrea C. O'Neill, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Malcolm J. Roberts, Martin Verlaan, Philip J. Ward, Kun Yan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth's Future
Index ID 70248481
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center