[Coral-List] Bleaching has begun in the Florida Keys

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 30 11:59:52 EDT 2007

Following on to the increased potential for bleaching that we  
reported two weeks ago, thermal stress has continued to increase in  
the lower Florida Keys.  This results from heating of the Florida Bay  
waters to an anomaly well over 1 degree C.  Another similar region of  
anomalous warmth extends along the western coast of the Bahamas from  
Andros Island to Grand Bahamas Island.  The Florida Bay waters that  
bathe the lower Florida Keys and the waters from northwestern Andros  
to Bimini have accumulated more than 4 degree weeks of warming,  
placing both areas under a Level 1 Bleaching Alert.

Late last week, Billy Causey reported about 10% bleaching of corals  
off West Summerland Key around the western side of Bahia Honda  
Channel on the ocean side of the bridge.  It was especially  
disturbing that the bleaching was hitting a diverse group of coral  
species, not just the more sensitive ones.

The automated Satellite Bleaching Alert from earlier today follows.

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

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


** [CRW Alert 20070730] Sombrero Reef: Bleaching Alert Level 1

Satellite observations: 26 July 2007 - 30 July 2007
  -- Bleaching Degree Heating Weeks            :  4.5 Deg C-week
  -- Historical Maximum Degree Heating Weeks   :  9.2 Deg C-week (2005)
  -- Coral bleaching HotSpot                   :  1.3 Deg C
  -- Sea surface temperature                   : 30.6 Deg C
  -- Maximum Monthly Mean SST at site          : 29.3 Deg C

For more information, please visit the coral bleaching indices web site:

Previous Three Alerts for Sombrero Reef:
--07/11/2007 Bleaching Warning
--06/25/2007 Bleaching Watch
--10/07/2006 No Stress

SST Time Series:

Reef site name:     Sombrero Reef
SST Pixel latitude:     25.0
SST Pixel longitude:   -81.5
Location map:

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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