In the last decade, increasing attention has been directed towards climate changes induced by human activities, their interactions with natural climate variability, and possible consequences for design. A recent DNV Position Paper reported projections of met-ocean conditions in the 21st century and beyond, as well as relevant uncertainties (Bitner-Gregersen and Eide, 2010). The findings indicated an increase in extreme significant wave height in the North Atlantic from 0.5 to 1.0 m by the end of the 21st century, with uncertainty of the same size. This increase is also supported by more recently published papers. The present study is a continuation of DNV’s work and investigates the impact of expected wave climate change on tanker design. Five different oil tanker types, ranging from Product Tanker to Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), are considered.
A significant increase in the probability of failure due to hull girder collapse is demonstrated, and thus an increase in the steel weight of the deck in the midship region by up to 15 % is necessary in order to maintain a satisfactory reliability level. The largest increase is required for VLCCs and the smallest for Product Tankers. This study also provides recommendations for future research activities for investigating approaches to adaptation to climate change with respect to marine design.