Computer Simulation Counters Flooding on Coral Reef Coasts
Scientists have developed a computer simulation tool to predict short-term flood hazards on coral-reef-lined coasts and to assess longer-term impacts from climate change. The assessments will provide input that helps estimate societal or economic risk and damage from such flooding. The tool can be used to play “what-if” games and ask questions such as, “how will flood risk change if the coral on this reef dies, or if sea level rises by more than one meter?”
The tool, called BEWARE, or Bayesian Estimator of Wave Attack in Reef Environments, compiles data about waves, sealevel and the structure of the reef to predict flood hazards. It can also assess areas with little data available by generating an artificial database of wave conditions on coral reefs using the physics-based XBeach Non-Hydrostatic wave model.
Image: A low-lying island within the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean. CC0 Public Domain.