[Coral-List] Coral damage to Caribbean reefs by Wilma

Georgina Bustamante gbustamante at bellsouth.net
Tue Nov 1 08:10:10 EST 2005

Just a brief note to inform coral listers that Mexican scientists are
already starting to assess the damage caused by hurrican Wilma to the
Mexican Caribbean coast. Significant damage is expected here and in other
parts of Cuba and Florida impacted by Wilma's surge.

Georgina Bustamante, Ph.D.
Marine Science and Policy Consultant
3800 N Hills Dr. #216
Hollywood, Florida 33021
tel/fax(request) 954-963-3626

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov]On Behalf Of Mark Eakin
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 8:52 AM
To: Coral Listserver
Subject: [Coral-List] News Articles on Bleaching Event

We have found two articles in the press on the current bleaching
event that came out as a result of yesterday's press release:

Washington Post:
Tuesday, October 25, 2005; Page A09


Unusually Warm Caribbean Sets Off Bleaching of Coral

Unusually warm temperatures in the Caribbean have caused severe coral
bleaching in recent weeks that could permanently damage many reefs,
according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA, which monitors corals in 24 shallow coral reef systems across
the globe, has issued bleaching alerts in Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. Since early September, water surface temperatures in
parts of the Caribbean have been averaging 2 degrees Fahrenheit above
historic monthly maximums.

Warm sea surface temperatures subject corals to extreme stress, which
prompts them to expel the symbiotic microalgae that live in their
tissues and provide them with food.

Losing the algae deprives the coral of color and makes it appear b
leached; bleaching that lasts longer than a week can kill corals.

"Puerto Rico is experiencing the worst bleaching event ever," said
Ernesto Weil, a University of Puerto Rico professor. "Bleaching is
both widespread and intense, with colonies representing 42 species
completely white in many reefs. In our surveys, 85 to 95 percent of
coral colonies were bleached in some reef areas."

LA Times
Warm Oceans Threaten Caribbean Coral Reefs
October 25, 2005
By Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling / Times Staff Writers
The extremely warm ocean waters fueling this season's record
hurricane season are stressing coral reefs throughout the Caribbean
and may kill 80% to 90% of the structures in some areas, scientists
reported Monday. These colorful undersea landmarks —...

and this one from 5 October:
NOAA delivers early warning of coral bleaching

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5306
1335 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136

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