Research press release





今回、Chris Perryたちの研究グループは、熱帯西大西洋とインド洋のサンゴ礁(200か所以上)の垂直成長能力を計算し、これらの値を最近の海面上昇速度、および今後予想される海面上昇速度と比較した[今後の予想値は、気候変動に関する政府間パネルの温室効果ガス濃度の代表的濃度経路(RCP)の複数のシナリオに基づく]。多くのサンゴ礁は、最近の海面上昇傾向に近い速度で成長しているが、生態系の回復なしにRCP 4.5シナリオによる海面上昇速度の予測値に追随できるサンゴ礁は非常に少なく、RCP 8.5シナリオでは2100年の時点で大部分のサンゴ礁の水深の上昇が平均で0.5メートルを超えるという予測が示された。


The current growth rate of coral reefs in the tropical western Atlantic and Indian Ocean is just about keeping pace with projected sea-level rise, according to a paper in Nature this week. However, as coral reefs protect tropical and subtropical shorelines around the globe, the study suggests that small island nations may lose a key contributor to coastal protection against flooding and erosion.

Sea-level rises are predicted to elevate water depths above coral reefs and leave shorelines more vulnerable to erosion. These projections, however, lack data on the interaction between local reef growth and sea levels.

Chris Perry and colleagues calculate the vertical growth potential of more than 200 tropical western Atlantic and Indian Ocean reefs and compare these to recent and projected rates of sea-level rise under different Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change representative concentration pathway (RCP) greenhouse-gas concentration scenarios. Whereas many reefs retain growth rates close to recent sea-level rise trends, few will have the capacity to track the sea-level rises that are projected under RCP 4.5 scenarios without sustained ecological recovery, and under RCP 8.5 scenarios most reefs are predicted to experience mean water-depth increases of more than 0.5 metres by 2100.

The authors also show that other major climate-related issues, specifically coral bleaching, can drive major declines in reef growth potential. Ocean acidification and thermal impacts on calcification also represent additional threats and may inhibit coral growth, thus making shorelines more vulnerable to erosion.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0194-z

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