Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Ocean Sci., 15, 1615–1625, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-15-1615-2019
Ocean Sci., 15, 1615–1625, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-15-1615-2019

Research article 06 Dec 2019

Research article | 06 Dec 2019

Increasing turbidity in the North Sea during the 20th century due to changing wave climate

Robert J. Wilson and Michael R. Heath

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Latest update: 12 Jun 2021
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Short summary
The North Sea became much less clear during the 20th century, with potential consequences for primary production. This study analyses the hypothesis that changes in wave regime were a key driver of this change. We hindcast bed shear stress over the 20th century using a long-term wave reanalysis. Shear stress increased by over 20 % in large parts of the southern and central North Sea during the 20th century. An increase of this magnitude would have caused a large decline in water clarity.