[Coral-List] News Articles on Bleaching Event

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Tue Oct 25 08:52:14 EDT 2005

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

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1335 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
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