[Coral-List] New paper on internal waves

Tom DeCarlo tdecarlo at whoi.edu
Thu Feb 19 09:38:49 EST 2015

Dear Coral-List,

There is growing recognition of the importance of internal waves on 
coral reefs, with papers in the last few years showing that internal 
waves can elevate nutrients and enhance coral heterotrophy, and more 
recently that internal waves may reduce bleaching, on some coral reefs.

I want to draw your attention to our recent publication in Geophysical 
Research Letters, "Climate modulates internal wave activity in the 
Northern South China Sea". The take-home message of the paper is that 
internal wave activity is projected to increase in this region under 
21st century climate change, with important implications for coral 
resilience to warming and ocean acidification. Link to our paper here:

The South China Sea is home to possibly the world's largest internal 
waves, which collide with Dongsha Atoll and influence the temperature 
and nutrient environment for the corals living there. Our paper focuses 
on the climatology of internal waves in this region, and their projected 
changes over the next century. Given the mounting body of evidence that 
internal waves not only buffer corals from thermal stress, but play key 
roles in modulating the composition of source-water to reefs in some 
regions, a changing internal wave climate potentially represents an 
important factor in coral reef resiliency to climate change.

DeCarlo, T.M., K. B. Karnauskas, K.A. Davis, and G.T.F. Wong (2015), 
Climate modulates internal wave activity in the Northern South China 
Sea, /Geophys. Res. Lett./, 42, doi:10.1002/2014GL062522

- Tom DeCarlo

Tom DeCarlo
PhD Student
MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography
Geology and Geophysics department
office phone 508-289-2596

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