Warming ocean temperatures may cause major coral bleaching in 2015
Following the release of the most recent outlook from NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, which showed an alarming coral bleaching trend in 2014, NOAA scientists are worried that warm ocean temperatures might lead to increasingly severe coral bleaching in 2015.
Coral bleaching is a phenomenon that occurs when coral is exposed to changes in conditions such as light, temperature and nutrients. When this happens, they release the symbiotic, helpful algae hosted in their tissue, causing them to lose colour and leaving them more exposed to diseases.
NOAA’s outlook shows that the regions that will most likely experience coral bleaching this year are the Western South Pacific and the Indian Oceans.
Main image credit: Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service