Waves along California’s coast are getting bigger, study says
Early this year, severe storms battered California, bringing huge waves that damaged infrastructure and forced people away from the coast. That may be the new norm, as climate change fuels severe weather that is making waves bigger, according to a study published this month. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, uses nearly a century of seismic records to show that mean winter wave heights, as well as the frequency of big waves, have significantly increased along California’s coast since the 1970s. In recent decades, the number of waves taller than 16 feet has more than doubled, according to the paper, which showed that the Aleutian Low, an area of low pressure over the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska, has also intensified, likely increasing storms.