The planet can lose much of the mangrove forests in 30 years: according to a study published in the journal Science, within the last 11 thousand years, mangroves have successfully survived a sea level rise of not more than six millimeters per year, otherwise their ability to vertical growth were suppressed, and these forests died out. In the absence of restrictions on anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, the rate of sea-level rise at tropical and subtropical latitudes will exceed 10 millimeters per year around 2050 that can be destructive to mangrove forests.
Mangroves are flooded with diluted sea water, highly productive ecosystems that develop in the intertidal zone (the strip with the lowest water level during low tide and highest at high tide). They play an important role for biodiversity conservation in the biosphere, and human activities: the rich nutrients of the water of the mangroves used to grow fish and shrimp, and from local trees extract valuable tannins.
It is believed that in the unique growth conditions of mangrove forests have adapted to significant fluctuations in the salinity of the water and to the constant changes of the sea level. However, until now, all observations for the response of these communities to sea-level rise lasted no longer than 16 years, and water during the observation period was raised at a maximum speed of 3.1 millimeters per year. With the growth of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and their effect on melting a coating of ice resistance of mangroves to future sea-level rise is open to doubt.
Scientists led by Neil Saintilan (Neil Saintilan) from Macquarie University examined the response of mangrove ecosystems to sea level rise using paleoecological methods: they took the 122 core samples of ancient organic deposits in 78 tropical and subtropical locations, to understand how mangroves have survived glaciation and interglacial era with the most significant amplitudes of global sea level.