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


Wave climate projections along the French coastline: Dynamical versus statistical downscaling methods

Publication Year


  • Laugel, Amelie
  • Menendez, Melisa
  • Benoit, Michel
  • Mattarolo, Giovanni
  • Mendez, Fernando
OCEAN MODELLING Volume: 84 Pages: 35-50 Published: 2014
1463-5003 eISSN: 1463-5011

The estimation of possible impacts related to climate change on the wave climate is subject to several levels of uncertainty. In this work, we focus on the uncertainties inherent in the method applied to project the wave climate using atmospheric simulations. Two approaches are commonly used to obtain the regional wave climate: dynamical and statistical downscaling from atmospheric data. We apply both approaches based on the outputs of a global climate model (GCM), ARPEGE-CLIMAT, under three possible future scenarios (B1, A1B and A2) of the Fourth Assessment Report, AR4 (IPCC, 2007), along the French coast and evaluate their results for the wave climate with a high level of precision. The performance of the dynamical and the statistical methods is determined through a comparative analysis of the estimated means, standard deviations and monthly quantile distributions of significant wave heights, the joint probability distributions of wave parameters and seasonal and interannual variability. Analysis of the results shows that the statistical projections are able to reproduce the wave climatology as well as the dynamical projections, with some deficiencies being observed in the summer and for the upper tail of the significant wave height. In addition, with its low computational time requirements, the statistical downscaling method allows an ensemble of simulations to be calculated faster than the dynamical method. It then becomes possible to quantify the uncertainties associated with the choice of the GCM or the socio-economic scenarios, which will improve estimates of the impact of wave climate change along the French coast. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • Wave climate
  • Wave modeling
  • Statistical downscaling
  • Dynamical downscaling
  • Weather types
  • Climate change
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • WIND
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Geosciences
  • Plant & Animal Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Oceanography

[Laugel, Amelie; Benoit, Michel; Mattarolo, Giovanni] Univ Paris Est, EDF R&D, Ecole Ponts ParisTech, Cerema,St Venant Hydraul Lab, Chatou, France; [Laugel, Amelie; Benoit, Michel; Mattarolo, Giovanni] EDF R&D, LNHE, Chatou, France; [Menendez, Melisa; Mendez, Fernando] Univ Cantabria, IH Cantabria, Environm Hydraul Inst, E-39005 Santander, Spain

Reprint Adress

Laugel, A (reprint author), Univ Paris Est, EDF R&D, Ecole Ponts ParisTech, Cerema,St Venant Hydraul Lab, Chatou, France.

  • France
  • Spain
Accession Number
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