The impact of sea state: from coastal erosion to sailing

rebecca.rolph [ at ]


Wind and wave conditions are a primary concern for many people living along the coastline, but when considering the partially frozen coastline in the Arctic, this concern is highlighted by the cascading detrimental thawing effects on indigenous cultural sites and subsistence practices. Media coverage has extensively shown cemeteries being washed away into the sea, ice cellars being inundated with floodwaters, and entire villages planning to relocate without having the funds to do so. If we take a look further offshore, sea state directly impacts the safety of subsistence hunters travelling by boat, leading to the fact that a lengthening open water season does not necessarily mean the same increase in the number of safely boat-able days. Beyond the scope of native communities, but still well within the lens of the media, professional sailors are constantly looking for products that improve their knowledge and forecasts of sea state to better inform which routes and actions they will take during months-long competitions. This talk will contain a broad overview of the specific uses of wave and wind information, citing specific examples from the authors’ own experience on coastal erosion model development and interaction with Arctic native coastal communities. A main goal of this talk is also to illuminate the incentives for the scientific community to be actively engaged in improving operational sea state products, from Arctic indigenous coastal communities to professional sailors, particularly in light of the increasing media attention to the general public.

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Conference (Keynote)
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Event Details
ESA Sea State CCI: User Consultation Meeting #2, 23 Mar 2021 - 25 Mar 2021, Online.
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Rolph, R. , Langer, M. , Lantuit, H. and Overduin, P. P. (2021): The impact of sea state: from coastal erosion to sailing , ESA Sea State CCI: User Consultation Meeting #2, Online, 23 March 2021 - 25 March 2021 .

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