Coral Bleaching in the NW Hawaiian Islands

Gang Liu Gang.Liu at
Mon Oct 7 08:31:14 EDT 2002

We have learned that coral bleaching was observed the NW Hawaiian
Islands from a sustained period of hot water and calm winds!

Based on NOAA satellite monitoring, the furthest reaches of the NW
Hawaiian Islands, including Midway Atoll, experienced rather
significantly high SSTs from early August through early September this
year. Sea surface temperature at Midway reached up to 28.9 deg C in
August, which is 1 deg C above our bleaching threshold of 27.9 deg C:
Only twice before, in our records, have we seen these extreme levels
during the summer, 1987 and 1988 - but those events occurred in
late-August (not so early in the season)!

Our DHW charts show an accumulation of 9.6 DHWs at Midway Atoll over the

summer season:

In early August, we (NOAA Coral Reef Watch) sent out an early warning
based on NOAA satellite coral bleaching HotSpot products to the
coral-list for potential bleaching in the area.

Anyone with in-situ observations please advise us/and or ReefBase in

NOAA Coral Reef Watch

 Gang Liu, Ph.D.
 NOAA Science Center, Rm 711
 5200 Auth Road
 Camp Springs, MD 20746

 Tel: 301-763-8176 ext 30
 Fax: 301-763-8108
 Email: Gang.Liu at

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