News Science Big Waves Are Getting Bigger By Shea Gunther Writer University of New Hampshire Rochester Institute of Technology University of Southern Maine Shea Gunther is a writer, entrepreneur, and podcaster living in Portland, Maine. He covers topics such as renewable energy, climate change, and nature. our editorial process Shea Gunther Updated December 23, 2019 Big waves may be gnarly for surfers but they're also gnarly for the coastlines. (Photo: Chad King/NOAA/National Marine Sanctuaries [CC by PD-1.0]/Flickr) Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Big waves are getting bigger. Scientists have found that the largest waves in the Pacific Northwest are getting higher by seven centimeters a year. Researchers at Oregon State University aren't sure why the waves are getting bigger though they think changing wind patterns may be the cause. Bigger waves means more coastal erosion, more lost beaches, and more washed out homes and communities. Combined with a rising sea level could make for a powerful 1-2 punch on a really big chunk of human civilization. Here's a REALLY big wave. Imagine that sucker with 7cm more water.