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1st INTERNATIONAL ASTRA CONFERENCE“ARE WE PREPARED TO COPE WITH CLIMATIC CHANGE?CONSEQUENCES OF THE WINTER STORM 2005”MAY 18-20, 2006Klaipeda (Lithuania)Consequences of the winter storm 2005 in Estonia; possible changes in mean and extreme sea levels due to climate changeÜlo Suursaar, Estonian Marine Institute, Univ. of Tartu(ASTRA - Are Kont group)


Structure of the presentation:

  • Gudrun (winter storm 2005) meteorology

  • Gudrun sea level

  • Hydrodynamic modelling of Gudrun impacts

  • Past sea level trends 1923-05 (aver., max, min)

  • Influence of climate change on sea level

  • Influence on hydrodynamic processes

  • Further sea level developments, return periods

    __________________________

    * This on-line version is due to technical considerations a shorter version of the original 39-slide presentation, given at Klaipeda.


The presentation is based on published/submitted papers:

Suursaar, Ü., Kullas, T., Otsmann, M., Saaremäe, I., Kuik, J., Merilain, M. 2006. Cyclone Gudrun in January 2005 and modelling its hydrodynamic consequences in the Estonian coastal waters. - Boreal Environment Res., 11, 2, 143-159.

Suursaar, Ü., Jaagus, J., Kullas, T. 2006. Past and future changes in sea level near the Estonian coast in relation to changes in wind climate. - Boreal Environment Res., 11, 2, 123-142.

[see: http://www.borenv.net]____________________

Tõnisson, H., Orviku, K., Jaagus, J., Suursaar, Ü., Kont, A., Rivis, R. 2006.Coastal Damages on Saaremaa Island, Estonia, Caused by the Extreme Storm and Flooding on January, 9 2005. – Journal of Coastal Research (submitted).

Suursaar, Ü., Sooäär, J. 2006. Decadal variations in mean and extreme sea level values along the Estonian coast of the Baltic Sea. –Tellus A (submitted).

Suursaar, Ü., Kullas, T. 2006. Influence of wind climate changes on mean sea level and current regime in the coastal waters of West Estonia, the Baltic Sea. – Oceanologia (submitted).



Cyclone track and ssp air pressure ruhnu
Cyclone track and SSP (air pressure, Ruhnu)



Wind forcing mean 28 ms gusts 38 ms sw w nw p rnu level response 275 cm in tideless sea
Windforcing:mean 28 msgusts 38 msSWWNWPärnu level response:275 cm(in tideless sea)


Surge height depends on - background Baltic sea level before the event- cyclone trajectory (i.e. wind speed and direction). For Pärnu the most dangerous trajectories lie between the red arrows.



2D hindcast modelling of sea level and flows:24 km3 water entered the Gulf of Riga, strong flushing, coastal erosion, etc.


The areas of potential inundation in Pärnu City (45 000 residents) in case of 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 m sea level rise.


Storminess in estonia at vilsandi island data compiled by j jaagus see also suursaar et al 2006b
Storminess in Estonia (at Vilsandi Island) data compiled by J.Jaagus, see also Suursaar et al., 2006b


Sea level and surge statistics in Estonia

Tide gauges: 3-4 mareographs + tide poles


P rnu trends 1923 2005 annual mean max min
Pärnu trends 1923-2005:annual mean, max, min



Ristna trends west estonian archipelago summer winter uplift 2 8 mm yr
Ristna trends (West-Estonian Archipelago): summer/ winter Uplift 2.8 mm/yr


  • List of further figures:

  • Seasonality in sea level (and NAO) trends

  • Seasonal structure of correlations: NAO/ Sea level/ Storminess

  • Seasonal structure of Pärnu max, mean and min sea levels

  • 11 year running averages and corrected linear trendlines

  • Results of 2D modelled sea levels, Gulf of Riga

  • Modelled influence of changes in westerlies

  • Change in flow regime (cumulated fluxes) due to enhanced

  • S, SW, E winds at Järve (Saaremaa Island):

  • annual bottom stress could increase 2-3 fold

  • Return periods based on Pärnu max sea level data 1923-2005


Pärnu hourly data histogram,

n=369 071, ca 15%=50 000, nout =ca 19h



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