A new study by Australian scientists showed that cyclones damage coral reefs even at a distance of 1000 km. These natural structures can lose up to 50% of corals.
Large cyclones can harm coral reefs even at distances up to 1000 km from them. This conclusion was made by scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) – they warn that strong cyclone winds create extreme conditions on the sea, which harm the coral reefs in Australia and around the world.
Their modeling showed that a cyclone, hurricane or typhoon as much as possible harm corals 100 km from them. But this also happens at distances up to 1000 km.
To test their theory, researchers studied Scott Reef, a group of atoll reefs northwest of Australia. They were able to repair the damage that a cyclone off the coast caused them in 2012.
Despite the fact that the cyclone region, which causes the strongest winds, approached the reef no closer than 500 km, the open sea damaged it by waves from four to twenty meters high for three and a half days.
Researchers found that in the most exposed areas, Scott Reef lost 50% of its massive corals and virtually all of the fragile branched Acropora corals. Similar damage was found on another reef, located another 300 km from it.