"We've known for a long time that sea level is rising and that there are also important fluctuations happening on different time scales, including seasonal variations, which are the reason that nuisance flooding in cities like Miami typically occurs in late summer or early fall," said University of Central Florida coastal engineer Thomas Wahl, who was part of the research team.
"We can predict high tide and low tide and we know what causes sea level to vary seasonally, but we found that in some years the seasonal fluctuations are much larger along the Gulf and U.S. southeast coasts than in others, causing more nuisance flooding and increasing flood risk from storm surges during the hurricane season. These unusually large seasonal fluctuations were poorly understood and Rossby Waves appear to be the missing piece."
Team - Findings - Today - Nature - Communications
The team's findings are published in today's Nature Communications journal.
Rossby Waves, sometimes referred to as planetary waves, result mainly from the rotation of the Earth and they travel very slowly; it can take them months or even years to cross the oceans. Tracking...
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