This study presents simulations of the global ocean wave climate corresponding to the surface winds and sea ice concentrations as simulated by five CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) climate models for the historical (1979-2005) and RCP8.5 scenario future (2081-2100) periods. To tackle the numerical complexities associated with the inclusion of the North Pole, the WAVEWATCH III (WW3) wave model was used with a customized unstructured Spherical Multi-Cell grid of ∼100 km offshore and ∼50 km along coastlines. The climate model simulated wind and sea ice data, and the corresponding WW3 simulated wave data, were evaluated against reanalysis and hindcast data. The results show that all the five sets of wave simulations projected lower waves in the North Atlantic, corresponding to decreased surface wind speeds there in the warmer climate. The selected CMIP5 models also consistently projected an increase in the surface wind speed in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) mid-high latitudes, which translates in an increase in the WW3 simulated significant wave height (Hs) there. The higher waves are accompanied with increased peak wave period and increased wave age in the East Pacific and Indian Oceans, and a significant counterclockwise rotation in the mean wave direction in the Southern Oceans. The latter is caused by more intense waves from the SH traveling equatorward and developing into swells. Future wave climate in the Arctic Ocean in summer is projected to be predominantly of mixed sea states, with the climatological mean of September maximum Hs ranging mostly 3-4 m. The new waves approaching Arctic coasts will be less fetch-limited as ice retreats since a predominantly southwards mean wave direction is projected in the surrounding seas.