Chris Borg, Surfline’s Senior Pacific Forecaster, published a blog last week about how climate change and the melting Arctic ice cap will affect surfing. The first effect Borg noted was that due to increased solar energy absorbed by an ice-free Arctic Ocean, there will be bigger and more frequent storms in the North Pacific, bringing more swell to the California coast. The connection between climate change and extreme weather is definitely supported by the latest research, and so we can certainly expect more storms as our climate transforms. More swell is always welcome and after this lackluster California summer many surfers might be saying “Bring it on!”
The other potential that Borg mentions is that an ice-free Arctic may yield new frontiers for surf exploration. I like to consider myself an adventurous guy but Borg’s description of surfing the Arctic did not trigger that wanderlust: “It will be sort of like summer surf in the Gulf of Mexico, except with polar storms taking the place of hurricanes, much colder water and a whole new level of windswell chop to work with.”
But what did Borg miss in his description of surfing in a warming world?