Changement climatique - Recherche française (avec laboratoires CNRS) - 2010-2015


Climate change impact on waves in the Bay of Biscay, France

Publication Year


  • Charles, Elodie
  • Idier, Deborah
  • Delecluse, Pascale
  • Deque, Michel
  • Le Cozannet, Goneri
OCEAN DYNAMICS Volume: 62 Issue: 6 Pages: 831-848 Published: 2012
1616-7341 eISSN: 1616-7228

The knowledge of offshore and coastal wave climate evolution towards the end of the twenty-first century is particularly important for human activities in a region such as the Bay of Biscay and the French Atlantic coast. Using dynamical downscaling, a high spatial resolution dataset of wave conditions in the Bay of Biscay is built for three future greenhouse gases emission scenarios. Projected wave heights, periods and directions are analysed at regional scale and more thoroughly at two buoys positions, offshore and along the coast. A general decrease of wave heights is identified (up to -20 cm during summer within the Bay off Biscay), as well as a clockwise shift of summer waves and winter swell coming from direction. The relation between those changes and wind changes is investigated and highlights a complex association of processes at several spatial scales. For instance, the intensification and the northeastward shift of strong wind core in the North Atlantic Ocean explain the clockwise shift of winter swell directions. During summer, the decrease of the westerly winds in the Bay of Biscay explains the clockwise shift and the wave height decrease of wind sea and intermediate waves. Finally, the analysis reveals that the offshore changes in the wave height and the wave period as well as the clockwise shift in the wave direction continue toward the coast. This wave height decrease result is consistent with other regional projections and would impact the coastal dynamics by reducing the longshore sediment flux.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Climate change
  • Wave climate
  • Dynamical downscaling
  • Bay of Biscay
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • WIND
  • SEAS
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Geosciences
  • Plant & Animal Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Oceanography

[Charles, Elodie; Idier, Deborah; Le Cozannet, Goneri] Bur Rech Geol & Minieres, F-45060 Orleans 2, France; [Delecluse, Pascale] Meteo France, CNRM, F-94165 St Mande, France; [Deque, Michel] Meteo France, CNRM, GAME, F-31057 Toulouse, France

Reprint Adress

Charles, E (reprint author), Bur Rech Geol & Minieres, 3 Ave Guillemin, F-45060 Orleans 2, France.

  • France
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Groupe d'étude de l'atmosphère météorologique (GAME), URA1357
Accession Number
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