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High magnitude wind events over the circumpolar coastal zones

PI: David E. Atkinson
Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Additional Investigators: Steven M. Solomon, Donald Forbes
Our proposal in general concerns wind-field climatology in the coastal margins of the Arctic polar regions. We specifically propose to extract from CMIP model runs a) individual high-magnitude wind events and b) indicators of background windfield strength and direction. These regions are sensitive to erosive activity in part due to wind-driven wave activity. Coastal erosion places infrastructure and habitat at risk. Recent trends suggest that increasing wind fetch due to sea-ice margin retreat, as well as lengthening ice-free seasons, act to increase the erosive power of wave activity and the length of time for wave attack to occur. High-magnitude wind events are the most effective agent of coastal change. It is important to determine if these occurrences are likely to change in frequency or intensity into the future. Atkinson, Solomon and Forbes propose to use daily u and v fields to identify trends in average windfield vectors. As well, high-magnitude wind events will be identified using a demonstrated algorithm from wind fields derived from high temporal resolution pressure grids (3-hourly data).

The objective of this work is to obtain information about future trends in wind forcing, background and extreme, and to then place these results into an erosion context using existing knowledge about coastal response to wind forcing.

This work will require the following data fields:

Daily-mean 3-d atmosphere data:
eastward_wind (ua)
northward_wind (va)

3-hourly 2-d atmosphere data:
air_pressure_at_sea_level (psl)

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