New Study: Rising Sea Levels PROTECT Coral Reefs

Written by Kenneth Richard

coral reef bleaching

Long-term observations of coral reefs indicate rising sea levels “not only promoted coral cover” but also “limit damaging effects of thermally-induced bleaching” (Brown et al., 2019).

This new paper is an expansion of the research conducted by the same lead author in 2011 (Brown et al.).

Brown and colleagues concluded a growth in coral cover is positively correlated with rising sea levels.

The authors further suggest “the overall picture for these shallow coral reefs is a positive one” due to rising sea levels and rapid recovery rates.

Image Source: Brown et al., 2011

Another new study (Zinke et al., 2019) indicates there is no correlation between coral growth rates (calcification, skeletal density) and long-term (since 1910) changes in sea surface temperatures.

In other words, a regional warming trend in the tropical Atlantic has not been associated with a decline in coral cover.

Image Source: Zinke et al., 2019

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Comments (1)

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    Andy Rowlands


    Excellent article.

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