Impact of climate change in the marine environment of the Iberian Peninsula

11:15 Tuesday 28 May


Room S8


Mariana Bernardino (Portugal) 1; Claudia Lucas (Portugal) 1; Marta Gonçalves (Portugal) 1; Carlos Guedes Soares (Portugal) 1

1 - CENTEC – Center for Marine Technology an Ocean Engineering, IST, Lisbon, Portugal

Climate change has become an important issue in coastal management as changes in wave climate that may occur might have significant impacts on coasts and human activities. The CLIMENA project had as main goal the production of high-resolution marine climate information for the Iberian coastal water, in both present and future climate, and to assess the changes in marine wind and wave regimes.

The study of the historical marine climate along the Iberian Peninsula waters was based on a combined high resolution atmospheric downscaling and wave hindcasting. The ERA-Interim reanalysis had already been used to force the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and atmospheric data at a 9km for this region was available. The SWAN model used the wave spectral information data from ERA-Interim together with wind data from WRF to produce a high-resolution wave data for the region. Surface wind and sea-ice obtained from a RCP8.5 EC-Earth integration were used as input for the WAM model. Spectral information from the WAM model was used as boundary conditions for SWAN and together with high-resolution wind also downscaled from EC-Earth, high-resolution wave information was produced for the Iberian coastal region.

The historical data was compared with observations using the available buoy data and statistical information was produced.

A statistical analysis of the high-resolution wave information produced from downscaled reanalysis data and from data obtained for present and future climate simulations was performed. Descriptive statistics of wave and wind parameters were obtained, using different temporal scales, (annual, seasonal and monthly). Mean and standard deviation values were computed for significant wave height (Hs), mean period (Tm02), peak period (Tp). Changes from present to future climate were evaluated, regarding both mean and extreme events.