Positive regional trends in extreme wave heights have been reported at several buoy locations since the late 1970s, with some evidence for seasonal dependence, including at sites on the east and west coasts of the USA (Komar and Allan, 2008; Ruggiero et al., 2010) and the northeast Pacific coast (Menéndez et al., 2008). However, Gemmrich et al. (2011) found for the Pacific buoys that some trends may be artefacts due to step-type historical changes in the instrument types, observational practices and post-processing procedures. Analysis of data from a single buoy deployed west of Tasmania showed no significant trend in the frequency of extreme waves contrary to a significant positive trend seen in the ERA40 reanalysis (Hemer, 2010).

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