Severe Bleaching & Death of Coral Reefs in Caribbean & Tropical Atlantic

GreenTracker| The most comprehensive documentation of Caribbean and tropical Atlantic coral reefs to date reports that more than 80 percent of surveyed corals bleached and over 40 percent of the total surveyed died. Researchers say this is the most ssevere bleaching event ever recorded in the basin.

“Heat stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed in the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in at least 150 years,” said C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D., coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch Program. “This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems, and events like this are likely to become more common as the climate warms.” via Science Daily

Coral watchers say the Caribbean is suffering severe bleaching again this year, perhaps worse than 2005 in some locations.

Prior AOC articles have focused on the reality that coral reefs have major social, cultural, ecoomic and ecological impacts on people and local economies. It’s estimated that the ‘rainforests of the sea’, coral reefs generate $375 billion in economic value each year.

More reading:

Massive Coral Bleaching in Indonesian Waters

Coral Sea Triangle | Marine Biodiversity Under Assault

Short-term Salvation | Coral Reef Species in Nitrogen