Ocean heat bleaches coral reefs in Florida, elsewhere

Bleached Coral Close-Up. Generative AI.
'It’s an ecosystem that we’re literally going to watch disappear in our lifetimes.'

Ocean temperatures that have gone “crazy haywire” hot, especially in the Atlantic, are close to making the current global coral bleaching event the worst in history. It’s so bad that scientists are hoping for a few hurricanes to cool things off.

More than three-fifths — 62.9% — of the world’s coral reefs are badly hurting from a bleaching event that began last year and is continuing. That’s nearing the record of 65.7% in 2017, when from 2009 to 2017 about one-seventh of the world’s coral died, said Derek Manzello, coordinator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Watch Program.

When water gets too hot, coral, which are living creatures, bleach and sometimes die.

In the Atlantic, off the Florida coast and in the Caribbean, about 99.7% of the coral reefs have been hit with “very very severe’’ losses in staghorn and elkhorn species, Manzello said Thursday in NOAA’s monthly climate briefing. Sixty-two countries are seeing damaged coral, with Thailand shutting off a tourist-laden island to try to save the coral there.

Meteorologists say a La Nina — a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific that changes the weather worldwide — is forecast to develop soon and perhaps cool oceans a bit, but Manzello said it may be too little and too late.

On Wednesday, parts of the Atlantic where hurricanes often develop had an ocean heat content — which measures water warmth at depths — equivalent to mid-August, said hurricane researchers Brian McNoldy at the University of Miami and Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University.

The world’s oceans last month broke a record for the hottest April on record. It was the 13th straight month global seas broke records, and because the oceans are slow to cool or warm, more records are likely, said Karin Gleason, NOAA’s climate monitoring chief.

Coral reefs are key to seafood production and tourism worldwide. Scientific reports have long said loss of coral is one of the big tipping points of future warming as the world nears 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming since pre-industrial time. That’s a limit that countries agreed to try to hold to in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

“This is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet,” said Andrew Pershing, a biological oceanographer who is vice president for science of Climate Central. “It’s an ecosystem that we’re literally going to watch disappear in our lifetimes.”


Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Ocean Joe

    May 18, 2024 at 5:09 pm

    But it’s all a hoax because the “stable genius” says so and because our governor has scrubbed the term ‘climate change’ from all official documents.
    He wants to be just like Rick Scott. If we ignore the problem it will go away. Just like storm insurance. Hey, maybe they’re related.

    • Elvis Pitts "AMERICA'S BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

      May 18, 2024 at 6:22 pm

      The Elvis Pitts American’s Sage Political Science [POLY SCI] Division interupts this “Dook 4 Brains Leftist A. P. Artical of Lies” to “Weigh In” with “Sage Sphincter Relaxing Wisdom” so ….. STAND BY FOR NEWS:
      America the photo-shopped “Dook 4 Brains Lefty” coral reef pic is 100 & 10% nothing but “Smelly Brown”.
      America, just because my “Besty Lefty”, OJ fell for it does not negate the Sage Wisdom of ME, Elvis Pitts (formarly Earl Pitts Amwrican’s) Sage B. S. spotting wisdom.
      America the photo-shopped pic and the above A. P. Aritcal of “Smelly Brown” is a “Total Lie”.
      Thank you America, you, one & all are now free to “Relax Your Political Sphincters” and get ready to “Cross Party Lines” to cast your vote for Donald “THE DONALD” Trump and “Live Happily Ever After”.
      You are now being returned to your regular Saturday Routine of Wanking Your Deminuative Pudskies again ….
      and again ….. and again,
      Elvis Pitts “Bull of The Woods” PUDSKIE” American

      • Speedy Gonzalez

        May 18, 2024 at 6:46 pm

        The big thanking is to Elvis for ‘splaining the lies of the bleached-out photo-shopped coral reef pic to all of my Cousin’ SLOPOKE’s “Hispanic Posse”. Elvis many of my people were beleiving the photo-shopped lies
        We love you Elvis Speedy y Slopoke

        • rick whitaker

          May 19, 2024 at 12:17 pm


      • JD

        May 19, 2024 at 9:41 am

        HAHAHA SHITTS, we all still find it funny you got a cease and desist letter for the use of the moniker Earl Pitts. B!tch boy Shitts.


        You got nothing Shitts of value to contribute. GTFO.

        • Elvis Pitts "AMERICA'S BIG VOICE ON THE RIGHT" American

          May 19, 2024 at 11:10 am

          Good Morn ‘Ting JD,
          NOT TRUE:
          I changed to Elvis on my own “SAGE ADVICE”.
          And JD, I just showed your Mom what you wrote about me with your potty mouth.
          My advice is for you to stop wanking & put some pants on as she’s on her way down to your basement apartment to spank your hiney good for your potty mouth diatribe against her part-time “Bull Of The Woods” boyfriend, ME, Elvis Pitts American.
          Thanks JD ….. oh hurry up Son she’s on her way downstairs now with the “DREADED BIG WOOD PADDLE” in her hand.
          Elvis Pitts American

          • rick whitaker

            May 19, 2024 at 12:14 pm


          • JD

            May 20, 2024 at 10:25 am

            Shitts, you’ve still got nothing but “Yo Mama” jokes? Clown Car amateur style.

  • Julia

    May 18, 2024 at 5:45 pm


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    May 18, 2024 at 5:46 pm

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  • My Take

    May 18, 2024 at 8:38 pm

    I wonder what the big carbon companies’ theories/excuses will be.

  • PeterH

    May 20, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Small fish exclusively feed on reef coral for survival! Larger fish feed on smaller fish for survival! So …… without coral….the ocean food chain will certainly suffer…….not to mention that fishermen’s employment will suffer. Add to this that nearly one billion people in the world community depend on seafood as their primary protein for survival. DeSantis and Rick Scott …… nothing to see here!

Comments are closed.


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