Brus, Steven; Wolfram, Philip; van Roekel, Luke; Meixner, Jessica
Wind-wave processes have generally been excluded from coupled Earth system models due to the high computational expense of spectral wave models, which resolve a frequency and direction spectrum of waves across space and time. Existing uniform-resolution wave modeling approaches used in Earth system models cannot appropriately represent wave climates from global to coastal ocean scales, largely because of tradeoffs between coastal resolution and computational costs. To resolve this challenge, we introduce a global unstructured mesh capability for the WAVEWATCH III (WW3) model that is suitable for coupling within the US Department of Energys Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). The new unstructured WW3 global wave modeling approach can provide the accuracy of higher global resolutions in coastal areas at the relative cost of lower uniform global resolutions. This new capability enables simulation of waves at physically relevant scales as needed for coastal applications.