The waves of the seven seas are packing a way bigger impact than they were when your grandparents were kids, and as surfers it’s hard to argue with that. Except. Except the cause is climate change and the result is likely to be greater flooding, storm surge, and beach erosion. Researchers from the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have found that “wave power”—the energy contained in ocean waves transmitted from the wind and transformed into motion—has increased by .4 percent a year since 1948, primarily due to the warming of the world’s oceans. Previously, scientists found that winds are stronger and wave heights are greater in high latitudes because of global warming. It makes sense that wave power would increase, too, but this is the first time it’s been confirmed.

Photo by Ben Warren