New early warning system could protect vulnerable islands from flooding | 12/13/2018 | Staff
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A recently developed early warning system can forecast floods on coral-lined coasts worldwide and could help save residents of low-lying island nations from unprecedented disaster, according to researchers.

An international team of scientists has developed a simplified system for delivering early flood warnings on many of Earth's coral reef-lined coastlines and provides a marine flooding forecast out to seven days.

Events - Researchers - Communities - Impacts - Floods

By predicting flood events in the short-term, researchers can help island communities mitigate the impacts of oncoming floods as they arise, according to researchers who presented the work this week at the 2018 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Over one hundred million people around the world live along coral reef-lined shorelines that are vulnerable to marine flooding that affects infrastructure, freshwater availability, agriculture, and habitats for threatened and endangered species. Future sea level rise and coral reef degradation will make these coasts even more vulnerable to flooding from more frequent storms, according to the researchers.

Curt - Storlazzi - Research - Oceanographer - US

Curt Storlazzi, a research oceanographer from the U.S. Geological Survey who presented the work, is concerned about the impacts flood events will have on local populations.

"A lot of these folks are really tied to the sea," Storlazzi said. "We're gonna hit these critical tipping points where the impact is so frequent that you're not gonna have a chance to recover."

Warning - Systems - Place - Locations - Majority

Early warning flooding systems are in place for some locations, but the vast majority of inhabitants of coral reef-lined coasts have no such system in place. So Storlazzi and other researchers from USGS and NOAA teamed up with scientists from the University of Hawaii and Deltares, an applied research institute in the Netherlands, to create a tool that forecasts flooding on Earth's most vulnerable shores. They wanted to develop a global-scale, simplified warning system based on existing science and prediction tools.

The researchers looked at data on fluctuating...
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