When Hurricane Dorian invaded the Bahamas in September, it only engulfed the entire community and killed dozens of people, destroying about 30 percent of the islands’ coral walls, A report by the Perry Institute for Marine Science on Friday.
“We have seen a number of reefs that had a significant amount of coral being broken down, turned down, or simply smashed so that the original structure of the reef was demolished,” said lead researcher Craig Dahlgren. At the Perry Institute, which has examined the effects of the hurricane since October.
Dr. Dahlgren said that the structures of the reef were broken down into smaller cargo shapes or buried in mud, mud, and sediment in some places.
Reef diving and snorkeling are an important part of the country’s tourism industry, which is the GDP. About 50 percent of these accounts contribute
Even before Hurricane Dorian, fragments were at risk. In 2016, the Perry Institute, based in Wethersfield, Vintage, found the reefs under pressure in the Bahamas and Classify them as disabled, Section only on the poor.
Healthy drafts are vital to the marine ecosystem in the region and storm damage seems to have affected the country’s fisheries as well. Dr. Dalgren’s team noted a significant reduction in fish populations linked to habitat loss.
In addition to the final turbulent water, Dorian brought rainwater currents that change the salinity of the sea. Storms can also cause water temperatures to fluctuate rapidly – both conditions probably shocked corals, researchers said.
However, the news of the report was not all bad. “We saw some of the areas that came out of it, almost surprisingly,” said Dr. Dahlgren. “The type of damage we see was not consistent. You might have a reef a few miles away. One would be completely destroyed and the other, you couldn’t tell there was a hurricane.
Some fragmented coral can be reshaped into nurseries and then reassembled into dead pieces to replenish. But it will take time, because some species take many years to grow.
Researchers at the Perry Institute have studied reefs in the Bahamas for many years. When Dorian struck, they also damaged boats and scientific equipment in the storm, yet they were in a position to quickly determine the damage.
“This study speaks strongly to the importance of long-term observation,” said Kim Cobb, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who is not involved in the study. Coral ecosystems are extremely sensitive to climate change and monitoring them is crucial, he said.
“Corals are primarily warning of the kind of system failure we know the pipe is going down,” says Dr. Cobb.