Coral bleaching in Florida & the Caribbean

Mark Eakin from NOAA posted the following observations on coral list on the 31st July:

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.



Things seem to be warming up across the Caribbean (from Megan Berkle)

Today (July 31), during our dive at Snapshot reef (Fernandez Bay, San
Salvador Island, Bahamas) we measured abnormally high water
temperature of 90 degrees F. This was a seven degree jump from what
we have been documenting for the last seven weeks.

Here are the stats for the Florida Keys and the Bahamas:


Sombrero Reef, FL

Bleaching Alert Level 1 Bleaching Alert Level 1

Current DHW 6.9
Hist Max DHW 9.2(2005)
Current SST(C) 30.8
Max Month SST 29

Bahamas, Lee Stocking Is

Bleaching Watch Bleaching Watch

Current DHW 0.5
Hist Max DHW 7.8(1998)
Current SST(C) 30.1
Max Month SST 29.3


Here are the images for the Caribbean region – Degree Heating Weeks and Current Hotspot anomalies .

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