"The water off South Florida is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in
mid-July, and scientists are already seeing signs of coral bleaching off
Central and South America. Particularly concerning is how early in the summer
we are seeing these high ocean temperatures. If the extreme heat persists, it
could have dire consequences for coral reefs.
Just like humans, corals can handle some degree of stress, but the longer it
lasts, the more harm it can do. Corals can’t move to cooler areas when water
temperatures rise to dangerous levels. They are stuck in it. For those that are
particularly sensitive to temperature stress, that can be devastating.
I lead the Coral Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab in Miami,
Florida. Healthy coral reef ecosystems are important for humans in numerous
ways. Unfortunately, marine heat waves are becoming more common and more
extreme, with potentially devastating consequences for reefs around the world
that are already in a fragile state."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics