[Coral-List] Severe bleaching in St. John, Virgin Islands

Alan E. Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Mon Oct 3 11:32:55 EDT 2005

Hi Caroline -- What a wicked year for your region....


I am presently seeing DHW levels (link above) close to "13"!! and over 
"14" to the NE of you possible the most remote regions of the Virgins.  
One would expect these levels to be peaking at this time....let's hope 
the fact the the primary source of energy has slipped south of the 
Equator will let SSTs return to more tolerable levels....


Caroline S Rogers wrote:

>Consistent with Al Strong's predictions, there is now severe bleaching of
>most of the coral species on the reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands.
>Bleaching was first noted on Millepora, Agaricia, and the zoanthid Palythoa
>beginning in August.  In the last 2 weeks, the bleaching has become more
>extensive. The major reef building or common coral species affected
>Montastraea annularis, M.faveolata, M. franksi, Porites astreoides, Porites
>porites, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Colpophyllia natans, and D. strigosa.
>Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis, Dendrogyra cylindrus and M.
>cavernosa are exhibiting less bleaching.
>Mean water temperatures (at depth) for August and September are the highest
>recorded in 15 years of temperature monitoring.  Water temperatures from a
>site at 16 m have been over 30 C since September 5th, reaching a maximum on
>of 30.8 on September 26.
>Jeff Miller
>Fisheries Biologist
>South Florida/Caribbean Network
>Mailing Address:
>Virgin Islands National Park
>1300 Cruz Bay Creek
>St. John, VI  00830
>PH: 340-693-8950, ext: 227
>Fax: 340-693-9131
>William_J_Miller at nps.gov
>Caroline Rogers
>USGS Caribbean Field Station
>St. John, VI
>caroline_rogers at usgs.gov
>(Embedded image moved to file: pic00491.jpg)
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* 
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

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