[Coral-List] Present Bleaching Event - PR & USVI etc.

Alan E Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Wed Sep 21 16:35:56 EDT 2005

*NOTICE - Bleaching continues to evolve throughout Eastern Caribbean*

 Beginning in the central Keys during August (Sombrero Key especially) 
the warm water episode and accompanying bleaching for this year is 
progressing south and eastward through Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Virgin 
Islands.  This can visually be seen in our recent 12-week composite of 
HotSpot accumulations - Degree Heating Weeks (DHWs):


and HotSpots:


Extremely high DHWs above "8" in much of the Virgin Islands are quite 
worrisome as these levels in past bleaching events typically bring some 
mortality to corals.  This evolving episode continues to be at near 
unprecedented levels of thermal stress for this region since our 
satellite records began in the mid-80s. From the chart one can observe 
that eastern Puerto Rico is under higher levels of thermal stress at 
present than western PR....hence the recent reports of considerable 
bleaching.  Until some reduced solar radiation and/or wind & mixing 
comes to the "rescue" we worry about prospects along much of the 
Windward Islands toward South America over the next month or so.

Sorry our repot couldn't be more positive.


Al Strong
NOAA's Coral Reef Watch

**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* 
Alan E. Strong  
Branch Chief, Marine Ecosystem and Climate Branch (MECB)
Coral Reef Watch Project Coordinator
Phys Scientist/Oceanographer 
  NOAA Science Center -- RM 601 
  5200 Auth Road
  Camp Springs, MD 20746-4304 
        Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
             301-763-8102 x170   [Tues-Thurs]
             301-713-2857 x108   [Mon & Fri]
                (SSMC1 - RM 5304; Silver Spring, MD)  
              FAX: 301-763-8572

More information about the Coral-List mailing list