New model will identify hotspots for coral reef protectionApril 17th, 2008 - 12:18 pm ICT by admin
Washington, April 17 (ANI): A new scientific model has been developed that accurately maps where coral reefs are in the most trouble and identifies regions where reefs can be protected best.
Corals have been devastated in large areas across the world. Disappearing at rates up to 5.4 percent per year over the past 30 years, they are among the earliest victims of climate change.
Bleaching, which climate change exacerbates, occurs when corals become so stressed that they eject the beneficial algae that give them their color. This eventually causes large sections of the reefs to lose much of their biodiversity.
Now, the new model, developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth, will help identify the hotspots for coral protection.
The model, which is being applied in areas throughout the Indian Ocean, synthesizes several ocean conditions, such as seawater temperatures, photosynthetic and ultraviolet light, winds and currents, and the concentration of microscopic plankton on the oceans surface.
These data were factored into previous reports of coral stress or bleaching and were then used to map the distribution of these inhospitable conditions.
The researchers found that much of the northern Indian Ocean contains very stressful environments for corals and that half of its marine parks with the strictest regulations are found within these harsh areas.
Areas of the Maldives and the Seychelles fall in the middle of the most severe conditions; these include some of the best coral reef parks and diving spots.
In an area east and just north of Madagascar lie the least-stressed reefs, which include those off the islands of Mauritius, Rodriques, and Reunion.
These are now among the reefs the model identifies as the highest priority for conservation.
According to WCS researcher Dr. Timothy McClanahan, Despite the large areas in high and severe stress, the model suggests that there are some reefs with less stressful conditions and more reasons for hope. (ANI)
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- 'Super reefs' near East Africa can fend off climate change - Apr 24, 2009
- Warming casts shadow over survival of coral reefs - Sep 17, 2012
- Soaring temps lead to mass coral killing in Indonesia: Study - Aug 17, 2010
- Climate change forces mirgration of Australian tropical fish - Aug 17, 2012
- Warming climate damaging reefs, impacting fish - Jul 11, 2012
- Coral reefs will survive ravages of warming: Scientists - Apr 17, 2012
- World's coral reefs 'at risk due to overfishing, climate change' - Feb 24, 2011
- More warm, acidic oceans will require greater reef care - Feb 15, 2011
- Coral reefs can recover from devastating effects of global warming - Jan 09, 2010
- 2010 saw massive coral bleaching in Andamans - Jan 16, 2011
- Some corals unfazed by global warming - Mar 13, 2012
Tags: biodiversity, climate change, coral protection, coral reef protection, coral reefs, corals, dr timothy, information science, inhospitable conditions, light winds, mcclanahan, microscopic plankton, new model, northern indian ocean, ocean conditions, rodriques, seawater, stressful environments, wildlife conservation society, wildlife conservation society wcs