Rising Sea-Level to be Threat for Salt Marshes across U.K.

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Rising sea-level to be threat for salt marshes across U.K. by 2100, according to a study published on July 12, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at the Rutgers University. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, sea-level will also continue to rise and will cause threat to salt marshes across the United Kingdom. This is the first study that estimates the vulnerability of salt-marsh by using the geological record of past losses in response to sea-level change.

Salt marshes are also known as coastal wetlands. Its existence is important, as they provide vital ecosystem services. Moreover, it acts as a buffer against coastal storms for protecting the mainland and a filter for pollutants to decontaminate our fresh water. Salt marshes are important transitional habitats between the ocean and the land, and a nursery area for fish, crustacea, and insects.

Researchers found that increasing sea levels in the past led to increased waterlogging of the salt marshes in the region and killing of vegetation that protects them from erosion. This study is on the basis of data obtained from 800 salt-marsh soil cores. Robert E. Kopp, co-author of the study said, “By 2100, if we continue upon a high-emissions trajectory, essentially all British salt marshes will face a high risk of loss. Reducing emissions significantly increase the odds that salt marshes will survive.”

Although this study looks at U.K. salt marshes, the counterpart in tropical environments are mangroves, which are as vulnerable to sea-level rise as salt marshes. Currently, researchers are gathering data regarding for addressing the future vulnerability of mangroves to rising sea-level.

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