bleaching tagged posts

Coral bleaching is altering reef fish communities

Coral bleaching caused by climate change

Repeated coral bleaching events owing to global warming are having lasting effects on reef fish communities, including changes in biodiversity and permanent shifts in the range of fish species, according to a new long-term study published on 18 June in Global Change Biology (1). Future reef fish communities will have fewer species, dominated by herbivores and invertebrate feeding fish.

The international team of researchers led by Dr James Robinson of Lancaster University carried out six surveys of 21 Seychelles reef sites from 1994 to 2017. They tracked the recovery of reefs over the 16-year period before the next major bleaching event in 2016 and discovered permanent shifts in the range of fish species cohabiting the coral reef sites.

The authors then used statistical models...

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Heatwave Causes Extreme Coral Bleaching In Australian Marine Park

Residents of the coral reefs in Lord Howe Island Marine Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has been hit with widespread coral bleaching

The world’s southernmost coral reefs have fallen victim to climate change. According to reports, the Lord Howe Island Marine Park is experiencing severe coral bleaching.

In some areas, about 90 percent of reefs have been damaged. Scientists said that this is the worst coral bleaching that the UNESCO World Heritage Site has experienced in recent memory.

Warm Summer Water Causes Widespread Coral Bleaching

Researchers from Newcastle University, James Cook University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have surveyed the area for the past two weeks. They revealed that the bleaching occurred over the past summer, peaking in March, due to sustained heatwaves and warm ocean water temperature.

They also reported that the bleaching is at its most severe in shallow w...

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Battered By Bleaching, Florida’s Reefs Now Face Mysterious Disease

Erinn Muller is science director at the Mote Marine Lab in the Florida Keys

At Mote Marine Lab’s Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration in the Florida Keys, Joey Mandara is like a baby sitter. But instead of children he tends to thousands of baby corals, growing in large, shallow tanks called raceways. Mote has been doing this work for five years, raising corals from embryos into adult colonies, then planting them on Florida’s reefs. Now, the emergence of a new, debilitating coral disease makes his work more important than ever.

In one raceway, Mandara says fragments of brain coral have grown quickly in this controlled environment.

“The brain coral were eight fragments,” he says. “And over time, they’ve grown out and have now fused into each other, becoming one coral that will hopefully over time become sexually mature.”

Mote lab’s science director Erinn...

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The ocean heatwave that killed a WA reef

Bleached coral

Record-breaking sea surface temperatures in 2016 bleached up to 80 per cent of the Kimberley’s super-tough coral and nearly 30 per cent of coral off Rottnest Island, scientists say. Despite being home to some of the world’s most stress-resistant coral, in-shore Kimberley reefs, were devastated by the most severe global bleaching event ever recorded, a survey of the entire WA coastline has found.

The researchers from UWA, the ARC Centre of Excellence and WA Marine Science Institution found Ningaloo Reef, which is still recovering from major bleaching in 2010-11, was not affected.

The 2016 global bleaching event was the third and longest on record and the Kimberley region was the hardest hit.

Between March and May 2016, the world’s oceans were 0...

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Reefs take the heat of climate change in Red Sea

Coral Experiment

In the azure waters of the Red Sea, Maoz Fine and his team dive to study what may be the planet’s most unique coral: one that can survive global warming, at least for now.

The corals, striking in their red, orange and green colours, grow on tables some eight metres (26 feet) underwater, put there by the Israeli scientists to unlock their secrets to survival.

They are of the same species that grows elsewhere in the northern Red Sea and are resistant to high temperatures.

Fine’s team dives in scuba gear to monitor the corals, taking notes on water-resistant pads.

“We’re looking here at a population of corals on a reef that is very resilient to high temperature changes, and is most likely going to be the last to survive in a world undergoing very significant warming and acidification of sea w...

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Can our reefs chill a little?

bleached stag horn coral

After 3 hot years, can our reefs finally chill a little?

NOAA will continue to monitor temperatures just to be sure, but according to the agency’s latest ocean forecast, the longest, most widespread coral bleaching event is almost over. The current bleaching event — one of only three ever — started in 2015, when coral reefs around the world began to experience high ocean temperatures for months on end. For reference, think of how you feel when you get a fever just a few degrees above your usual temperature, and then imagine that lasting for years … you’d be dead by now, too.

Worldwide, 70 percent of reefs suffered extended periods of temperatures high enough to cause bleaching...

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Great Barrier Reef Bleaching endangers ‘Precious Resources’

Great Barrier Reef

The massive bleaching of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral ecosystem in the world, is even worse than anticipated, according to research published in Nature earlier this month. “We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” the lead author, Terry P. Hughes, told The New York Times. “In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs—literally two-thirds of the reefs were dying and are now dead.”

Bleaching primarily occurs when rising seawater temperatures lead the corals to expel the symbiotic algae living within them, draining the corals of their color and eliminating their principal food source...

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Paris Climate Agreement ‘Not Enough’

bleached stag horn coral

Humans are going to have to do a lot more if we want to save the world’s coral reefs. Climate change is quickly killing coral through a process called coral bleaching. In 2016, coral reefs suffered the biggest die-off ever. Some regions of the Great Barrier Reef lost up to 35 percent.

Coral bleaching is probably exactly what you’re imagining: Colorful corals turn white and die. When major changes take place in the ecosystem, corals expel the algae that gives them their color. Since algae is the corals source of food, they begin to starve.

Scientists say if current climate trends continue, 99 percent of reefs will experience annual bleaching by the end of the century. Catastrophic events could begin as early as 2043.

And even the Paris climate agreement can’t save the reefs...

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Death of reefs could be devastating for millions of humans

bleached stag horn coral

Coral reefs around the globe already are facing unprecedented damage because of warmer and more acidic oceans. It’s hardly a problem affecting just the marine life that depends on them or deep-sea divers who visit them.

If carbon dioxide emissions continue to fuel the planet’s rising temperature, the widespread loss of coral reefs by 2050 could have devastating consequences for tens of millions of people, according to new research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS.

To better understand where those losses would hit hardest, an international group of researchers mapped places where people most need reefs for their livelihoods, particularly for fishing and tourism, as well as for shoreline protection...

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Florida’s Coral Reef Is Disintegrating

Florida Reef

Florida’s coral reef, the only tropical reef in the continental United States, is disintegrating faster than scientists predicted and in a way that will accelerate as the oceans become more acidic, according to new research published Monday.

University of Miami scientists called the collapse of the reef’s limestone framework, a critical habitat for fish, “unprecedented” and “cause for alarm.”

“Lots of scientists think that ocean acidification is not going to be a problem until 2050 or 2060,” says Chris Langdon, a marine biology professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “This is happening now. We’ve just lost 35 years we thought we had to turn things around.”

Coral reefs around the world have been in decline fo...

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