An analysis of the storm dynamics in the Black Sea
Keywords:Black Sea, storms, spectral wave models, hindcast, projections, climate change
The main objective of the present work is to analyze the storm dynamics in the Black Sea. A numerical wave model has been implemented and validated in the entire sea basin, including also the Sea of Azov. The wave model considered is SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore). This is a third generation phase averaged model based on the spectrum concept. Considering first the wind fields provided by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the above wave modelling system was used to perform an analysis of the storm conditions for the 30-year period 1987–2016. Furthermore, comparisons against satellite data show that the results of the wave predictions delivered by this system are in general accurate and reliable. As a next step, the climatic wind fields provided by the Rossby Centre regional atmospheric model were used to force this wave modelling system for the 30-year period 2021–2050. The Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenario 8.5 was considered at this point. Finally, following the results concerning the wind and wave projections for the next 30 years, a comparison of the storm conditions in the past, against their expected dynamics for the near future, has been carried out. The main conclusion is that, while the intensity of the winds will increase, mainly due to the high variability expected for the wind directions the maximum values of the significant wave height will be diminished. Another observation coming from the results of this study is that the frequency of the extreme storms in the Romanian nearshore is expected to increase in the near future.
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