bleaching tagged posts

97% of Corals Dead in Northern Great Barrier Reef

A coral reef impacted by a severe bleaching event

Nearly all corals on a reef at Lizard Island in Australia are dead following one of the worst mass bleaching events the world’s largest coral reef system has ever endured, new drone imagery has revealed. Scientists from Macquarie University, James Cook University, and GeoNadir first mapped the area around Lizard Island in March 2024 and repeated the survey this month. The imagery they collected revealed that at least 97% of the reef had died amid record-breaking sea surface temperatures.

“This is not pretty but I will not apologise for the data. Suck up the discomfort. When is enough enough?” Dr. Karen Joyce, one of the scientists behind the discovery, wrote on X.

In April,  the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) and the International Coral Reef Initia...

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New mass bleaching on Great Barrier Reef

Above-average temperatures for weeks have had a devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef, as scientists confirmed at least two-thirds of the reef had again undergone mass bleaching. For the fifth time in just eight years, mass coral bleaching is turning hundreds of sites on the Great Barrier Reef white. 

Coral bleaching occurs when higher than average ocean temperatures cause the coral to experience heat stress, causing the coral to secrete algae that provide many nutrients and color. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said aerial surveys of two-thirds of the reef had confirmed widespread bleaching. 

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Surprising discovery could help reefs survive climate change

The factors affecting coral’s resilience—its ability to adapt to and survive environmental changes—seem to be more nuanced than scientists believed. In a study published Oct. 17 in the journal Global Change Biology, researchers reveal surprising findings about a species common to Caribbean waters. The discovery may help improve efforts to save corals from bleaching and other consequences of climate change.

A team led by Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Carly Kenkel at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences studied the mountainous star coral, Orbicella faveolata, to determine whether coral populations that have survived higher temperatures can pass their heat tolerance on to their offspring.

To the scientists’ surprise, the results showed the opposite: T...

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Record temps on Florida coast threaten severe coral reef bleaching

Rising temperatures in Florida’s waters due to climate change have sparked an extreme stressor for coral reefs causing bleaching, which has scientists concerned. “In the last year, it’s been really depressing because we’ve seen a lot of changes, and we’ve been monitoring sites from Miami for five years now, and we’re starting to see changes in those sites,” said Michael Studivan, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Health and Monitoring Program.

Just within the last week, as the U.S. South struggles under a heat wave, NOAA has reported Florida water temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35 C). Normal water temperatures for this time of year should be between 73-88 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA.

The extreme heat has triggered coral ...

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91% of reefs surveyed on Great Barrier Reef affected by coral bleaching in 2022

Coral bleaching occurs when water is too warm, causing corals to expel the algae living in their tissues and turn completely white -- often killing the cora

Coral bleaching affected 91% of reefs surveyed along the Great Barrier Reef this year, according to a report by government scientists that confirms the natural landmark has suffered its sixth mass bleaching event on record. The Reef snapshot: summer 2021-22, quietly published by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on Tuesday night after weeks of delay, said above-average water temperatures in late summer had caused coral bleaching throughout the 2,300km reef system, but particularly in the central region between Cape Tribulation and the Whitsundays.

“The surveys confirm a mass bleaching event, with coral bleaching observed at multiple reefs in all regions,” a statement accompanying the report said...

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Mass Coral Bleaching Hits Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Abnormally warm waters are stressing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, causing large parts of the usually colorful reef to turn a ghostly white. Aerial surveys detected catastrophic coral bleaching on around 60 percent of the reef’s corals, reports Darryl Fears for the Washington Post.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, stretching for 1,429 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 square miles. The sprawling ecosystem is made up of individual reefs formed over thousands of years, which have been repeatedly stressed by recent marine heatwaves. Now, the Great Barrier Reef appears to be suffering its fourth mass bleaching in the last seven years. 

Despite their plant-like appearance, corals are animals made up of hundreds to thousands of tin...

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Dead coral found at Great Barrier Reef as widespread bleaching event unfolds

Dead corals are being recorded in aerial surveys across the Great Barrier Reef in what the marine park’s chief scientist says is a widespread and serious bleaching event on the world heritage icon. Aerial surveys have covered half of the 2,300km reef, with the worst bleaching observed in the park’s central region off Townsville, where corals on some reefs are dead and dying. The unfolding bleaching comes ahead of a 10-day UN monitoring mission to the reef due to start on Monday.

Leading reef scientist Prof Terry Hughes said this week a sixth mass bleaching event was now unfolding on the reef, adding to events in 1998, 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Dr David Wachenfeld, chief scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, told Guardian Australia: “There is certainly a risk we ar...

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Great Barrier Reef – Possible Fourth Mass Bleaching in 7 Years.

Bleached coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas on Feb. 20, 2017.

Corals across the Great Barrier Reef could be hit by mass bleaching for the fourth time in just seven years by the end of January, experts warn. By the third week of January, an 800 mile section of the Great Barrier Reef will likely be undergoing a bleaching event, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data shows.

NOAA forecasts also show that by mid-February, areas north of Cairns in Queensland will be at ‘Alert Level 2’ – where both widespread bleaching and significant coral mortality are likely. 

Chances of coral bleaching are higher during the warmer seasons, which is why Australian scientists are on high alert during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.  

Coral bleaching killed about 30 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral in 2016, according to ...

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All coral reefs could suffer bleaching, erosion in few decades.

Bleached coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas on Feb. 20, 2017.

The world’s coral reefs could face mass bleaching and erosion within the next few decades, according to an international team of scientists including those from Australia. Their findings, published this week in the scientific journal PNAS, have particular significance for Australia, which oversees the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and an enormously important drawcard for the nation’s tourism industry.

The scientists, including marine plant ecologist Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from the Griffith University in the Australian state of Queensland, noted in a related article in the Conversation that the GBR contributes about 6.4 billion Australian dollars (about 5 billion U.S. dollars) to the national economy.

Their study, based on the findings from 183 ree...

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Microbiome boost may help corals resist bleaching

Coral reef threatened by freshwater

A simple but powerful idea is to improve the health of corals using cocktails of beneficial bacteria. The strategy is being explored as part of global scientific efforts to help corals become stronger, more stress resistant and more likely to survive bleaching events associated with climate change.

Corals rely on bacterial and algal symbionts to provide nutrients, energy (through photosynthesis), toxin regulation and protection against pathogenic attacks. This complex and finely balanced relationship underpins the health of the holobiont and coral reefs as a whole.

Rather like the use of probiotics in plant science to improve growth and resilience, marine scientist Raquel Peixoto believes that, in times of stress, corals could benefit from a boost to their natural symbiotic partners...

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