[Coral-List] Preparing for Bleaching in the Caribbean

Douglas Fenner dfenner at blueskynet.as
Fri Sep 24 23:57:03 EDT 2010

Since coral disease outbreaks have been reported following some bleaching 
events, I'd suggest people keep disease in mind for monitoring as well, if a 
bleaching event develops in their area.  The diseases can cause a 
significant proportion of the total mortality.    Doug

News from “Science Now”:  “Record Hot Summer Wrecks Havoc.”

Science Now reports that NASA says this year so far is the hottest on record 
in the 131 years of record keeping.  Nearly 0.7 C hotter than the average 
from 1951 to 1980, and NOAA has found essentially the same thing using 
different data.  Nightime temperatures hit record highs in 37 states of the 
US this summer.  The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, 
has found near-record ice area loss so far this year in the Arctic Ocean, 
and expects the area to hit a record low this year.  Ice volume is at a 
record low, 10,000 cubic kilometers lower than the average of the last 30 
years.  Ice volume is being lost at 17% per decade.  The open sea surface 
absorbs much more light energy than the white ice, trapping more heat.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Judith Lang" <jlang at riposi.net>
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:37 AM
Subject: [Coral-List] Preparing for Bleaching in the Caribbean

Fellow Coral Reef Enthusiasts,

We certainly hope not, but should current predictions for parts of the
Caribbean come to pass, the vital signs of affected corals should be
followed like those of heart attack victims because the long-term
impacts of having been severely bleached can be of greater
significance than the initial trauma.

We invite regional divers to join us in monitoring simple, ecosystem-
level pigmentation changes in live corals and any associated changes
in live coral cover using the newly updated BLAGGRA Line Transects
protocol (www.agrra.org/BLAGRRA). Sites can be very quickly and
repeatedly surveyed by small teams of 1-2 experienced divers. A
representative assessment can be made of reefs in the area affected by
bleaching, and/or sampling can be focused on special-interest sites
(such as within and outside of MPAs).

Try to start the surveys before bleaching begins (if possible).
Resurvey whenever bleaching occurs, and at intervals during any
subsequent period of delayed mortality or recovery until conditions
return to “normal.”

To assess coral conditions at the population level, with species- and
size- specific, information, see the companion BLAGGRA Belt Transects
protocol (www.agrra.org/BLAGRRA).

  Data submitted to the AGRRA project will be processed, summarized,
and speedily posted online at the AGRRA website.

  Please help us create a regionally consistent and comparable
database for everyone to use.

Judy Lang
For the AGRRA Organizing Committee
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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