[Coral-List] Coral Death Causes
melissae.keyes at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 8 13:28:09 EST 2017
I write mostly to Mike Risk, to comment on his statement: "I would argue that most of the coral deaths we have seen so far-repeat, so far-have been caused neither by warmer waters nor by acidic oceans."
I was a frequent diver on the island of St Croix, US Virgin Islands, from 1989 until 2009. I live on this island, and dove at least three times a week, sometimes every day. The sea started heating in June of 2005, I believe in conjunction with a strange drop in the trade winds., although a bleaching event was predicted.
For months, the sea was glassy calm. The sea reached a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86f), all the way to 40 meters (130+ feet) depth. The corals went nuts so to speak. If it weren't so horrible, it would have been pretty. The stony corals turned 'electric' pink, orange and yellow, where they weren't snow white. I started photographing them, mapping the little area that I was exploring weekly. I had files on more than 100 individuals that went from their correct colors to bleached. I estimate about 75% of the corals on the reef died and silted over. The following winter of 2005/2006, the sea didn't cool to its' usual 22.2 c (72f), it only cooled to 27c, (82f).
I am not a PhD, so my observations are not quantified and charted.
Just had to speak up. Warmer waters here did kill corals. Not a gradual, general warming, but a drastic months long event.
Melissa~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Melissa E. Keyes St. Croix, U.S.Virgin Islands
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