Waves: bigger and tougher

The ocean waves are becoming bigger and more powerful.  Scientists have been studying the behaviour of large masses of ocean waters using buoy data and models based on wind patterns and have no doubt. The surf is really pumping.

The initial study focuses on the region off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and along the Atlantic seaboard from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Cape Hatteras, N.C. But this increase in wave height is also being confirmed in the North Atlantic off England.

There are several reasons for the observed facts: changing storm tracks, higher winds and more intense winter storms, all signs of global climate change.

The case of "rogue" waves is a bit different. The 100-foot giant walls of salt water do not show signs of having increased in number and height.

While statistics are still being added to these studies, US scientists believe too little is known about the oceans and that more should be done to understand their behaviour.

Discover the wave height forecast for your region.