[Coral-List] Scientists Issue Second Coral Warning Due to High Caribbean Sea Temperatures

Jeremy Taylor jtaylor at auduboninternational.org
Wed Aug 23 11:26:48 EDT 2006


Scientists Issue Second Coral Warning Due to High Caribbean Sea Temperatures

August 23, 2006 - By Mat Probasco, Associated Press 
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands - Scientists issued a warning Tuesday
that temperatures in the Caribbean Sea were abnormally high and approaching
levels that could be disastrous for coral reefs -- many of which suffered
unprecedented die-offs last year due to hot waters. 

Sea temperatures around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reached
about 83.66 degrees Fahrenheit (28.7 degrees Celsius) -- 3.36 degrees
Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) warmer than their annual average high,
which normally occurs in September or October, said Al Strong, a scientist
with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef
Watch. 

NOAA alerted scuba-dive operators and underwater researchers in the U.S.
Caribbean territories to look for coral damage and to be careful around the
reefs, which are easily damaged by physical contact, Strong told The
Associated Press in a telephone interview from Maryland. The agency issued a
warning that is in effect until the waters cool off. 

Researchers fear hot summer temperatures could be disastrous for reefs
recovering from widespread damage last year, when up to 40 percent of coral
died in abnormally warm seas around the U.S. Virgin Islands. Scientists have
not pinpointed what is behind the warm sea temperatures but some speculate
global warming might be the cause. 

Full story at http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=11116





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