[Coral-List] Potential for Bleaching Growing around Florida, Cuba, and Bahamas

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 16 12:01:14 EDT 2007

Since last Wednesday, 11 July, our Sombrero Reef virtual station has  
been in Bleaching Warning status (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/ 
satellite/current/sst_series_sombrero_cur.html).  That pixel is  
actually on the Bay side of the Keys because of the influence that  
warm, often hypersaline, waters have on the reef tract in that area.   
The rise in temperatures agrees with on site observations from  
scientists including Libby Johns who reported high water temperatures  
and salinities near Looe Key.  This agrees with NOAA's Integrated  
Coral Observing Network (ICON) data from Sombrero Reef and other  
Florida Keys sites.  Current temperatures at the Sombrero Reef  
SEAKEYS station (SMKF1) are the highest since 2005.  The Florida Bay  
region and eastern Gulf of Mexico are currently experiencing doldrum  
conditions that may be contributing to the warm, hypersaline waters.

Looking at the experimental Florida Reef Tract page or our Google  
Earth data, it is clear that all of the waters around the Florida  
reef areas are at least under a Bleaching Watch.  The Sombrero Reef  
virtual station (Florida Reef pixel #2) is the only pixel that has  
reached Bleaching Warning in the area.

Our virtual station in Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas has been showing  
positive Coral Bleaching HotSpot values (Watch or Warning status)  
since late June.

Please note that we have not yet issued a bleaching alert, as the  
Degree Heating Weeks value for Sombrero Reef is only at 1.3.  An  
alert will be issued if the temperature reaches 4.0.

We would appreciate any information on bleaching from the area.

Coral Reef Watch Resources:
Experimental Florida Reef Tract page (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/ 
Google Earth data (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/ge/ 
Experimental Doldrums Product: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/ 

Our 24 index sites around the globe can be found at:

Current HotSpot and Degree Heating Week charts, HDF data, and
GoogleEarth products can be found at:

NOAA's Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) for the Caribbean

Please reporting any bleaching events (or non-events) at


C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5308
1335 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136

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