Abstract

A quantile-based bias-correction method is applied to a seven-member dynamic ensemble of global wave climate simulations with the aim of reducing the significant wave height HS, mean wave period Tm, and mean wave direction (MWD) biases, in comparison with the ERA5 reanalysis. The corresponding projected changes toward the end of the twenty-first century are assessed. Seven CMIP5 EC-EARTH runs (single forcing) were used to force seven wave model (WAM) realizations (single model), following the RCP8.5 scenario (single scenario). The biases for the 1979–2005 reference period (present climate) are corrected using the empirical Gumbel quantile mapping and empirical quantile mapping methods. The same bias-correction parameters are applied to the HS, Tm (and wave energy flux Pw), and MWD future climate projections for the 2081–2100 period. The bias-corrected projected changes show increases in the annual mean HS (14%), Tm (6.5%), and Pw (30%) in the Southern Hemisphere and decreases in the Northern Hemisphere (mainly in the North Atlantic Ocean) that are more pronounced during local winter. For the upper quantiles, the bias-corrected projected changes are more striking during local summer, up to 120%, for Pw. After bias correction, the magnitude of the HS, Tm, and Pw original projected changes has generally increased. These results, albeit consistent with recent studies, show the relevance of a quantile-based bias-correction method in the estimation of the future projected changes in swave climate that is able to deal with the misrepresentation of extreme phenomena, especially along the tropical and subtropical latitudes.

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