Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study from Florida Tech finds Pacific reef growth can match rising sea

23.07.2015

For reef growth to keep up, however, ocean temps must stabilize

The coral reefs that have protected Pacific Islanders from storm waves for thousands of years could grow rapidly enough to keep up with escalating sea levels if ocean temperatures do not rise too quickly, according to a new study from Florida Institute of Technology.


The flat top of this massive Porites colony off the Palau archipelago, shown here at high tide, reflects the low-water spring tide line that limits its vertical growth. During low tide, the water level would be at the top of the colony.

Credit: Florida Institute of Technology

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, provides the first evidence that well-managed reefs will be able to keep up with sea-level rise through vertical growth.

But that can happen only if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere stay below 670 parts-per million (ppm). Carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas responsible for most of global warming, which in turn increases ocean temperatures.

Today, the level of carbon dioxide is 400 ppm. Beyond 670 ppm - which represents a 3.5 degree Fahrenheit ocean temperature increase and could be reached within the next 100 years - even healthy reefs will not be able keep up.

"Reefs will continue to keep up with sea-level rise if we reduce our emission of greenhouse gases," said Florida Tech's Rob van Woesik, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. "If reefs lose their capacity to keep up with sea-level rise they will drown."

Van Woesik was joined by researchers from the University of Queensland and the Palau International Coral Reef Center in the study, which took place in Palau in the western Pacific Ocean.

Coral reefs are an intricate part of island culture, and they are considered a precious resource in the Pacific Ocean. If global temperatures continue to rise and thus retard the growth of these natural storm barriers, the homelands of millions of people on lands throughout the Pacific Ocean will be in jeopardy.

###

The paper can be found at http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/7/150181.

Media Contact

Adam Lowenstein
adam@fit.edu
321-674-8964

http://www.fit.edu 

Adam Lowenstein | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>