Feb 19, 2015

World's coral reefs face major bleaching event this year, US agency warns

Kiribati
by
Sophie Yeo
,
The Guardian
Coral reefs worldwide are facing a mass bleaching event due to high ocean temperatures, says Noaa. Photograph: Alamy
Coral reefs worldwide are facing a mass bleaching event due to high ocean temperatures, says Noaa. Photograph: Alamy

This week, Noaa launched an updated version of its Coral Reef Watch, which provides a four month forecast of how ocean ecosystems will be affected by high temperatures.Normally, these are expected to show no bleaching. But high ocean temperatures throughout 2014 and into 2015 means that bleaching is predicted on a mass scale. This is in spite of the fact that an El Niño – a natural phenomenon that raises ocean temperatures – did not develop as expected. Instead, the ocean warming which is damaging the reefs has been caused by climate change.