Jang, C.J.; Kim, K.H.; Jung, H.; Do, K.; Yoo, J.; Kim, Y.S., and Lim, H.S., 2020. Future changes in significant wave heights in the East/Japan Sea. In: Malvarez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 1443-1448. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Future changes in wave climate play a crucial role in both coastal safety by changing coastal environments including erosion and marine ecosystem mainly by modulating nutrient input through vertical mixing changes. In this study, we investigated future changes in significant wave heights (SWHs) in the East/Japan Sea by using a regional wave model forced with future winds in the mid-21 century based on the RCP4.5 scenario. The future wind field was obtained from a regional climate model (SNU-MM5) contributing to CORDEX-EA (COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment-East Asia) project. In general, the mean SWHs are projected to increase, with a seasonally contrasting pattern: a greater increase in summer than in winter. In addition to the seasonal contrast, a basin-wide difference is also noticeable: larger changes in the northern basin than in the southern basin. The 99th percentile SWHs, a measure of extreme SWHs, show a significant spatial variation, with a maximum increase near Vladivostok, where a considerable intensification of wind is projected. Our findings suggest that the projected future changes in SWHs in the East/Japan Sea can be considerably different depending on seasons and basins.