Stanford Report: Coral reefs provide protection from storms and rising sea levels

  • by BPC Staff
  • on May 14, 2014
Stanford Report, May 13, 2014

Coral reefs provide protection from storms and rising sea levels, Stanford research finds

By breaking up waves, coral reefs protect an estimated 200 million people from natural disasters and rising sea levels. The findings could help focus coral conservation efforts to high-risk areas.

By Bjorn Carey

“Coral reefs are widely regarded as one of the most beautiful, diverse and delicate ecosystems on the planet. A new study by an international team of scientists reveals that reefs also play the tough guy role in protecting hundreds of millions of people from rising sea levels and damaging wave action.

The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 27 previous studies of how coral reefs around the world dissipate wave energy, conducted in conditions ranging from normal surf to hurricane-level waves. They found that coral reefs reduce wave energy by an average of 97 percent, dissipating disproportionately more wave energy as wave energy increased.”

Read the full article at the Stanford News website