MIAMI/KEY WEST, Fla. – Rising temperatures in Florida’s waters due to climate change are putting extreme stress on coral reefs, causing bleaching, and scientists are concerned.
“This past year has been really depressing because a lot has changed. We’ve been monitoring sites from Miami for five years and we’re starting to see changes in those sites,” says Dr. Michael. said. Studivan is a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Health and Monitoring Program.
Just last week as the southern United States was hit by a heat wave, NOAA reported water temperatures in the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) in Florida.
Normal water temperatures at this time of year should be between 22°C and 31°C, according to NOAA.
Extreme heat causes coral bleaching, where stressed corals excrete the colorful algae that live with them, leaving them pale and vulnerable.
In response to the crisis, NOAA and the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium pooled their resources to come up with new techniques for breeding and transplanting healthy corals, they said. They cultivate coral fragments in nurseries to ensure coral strength and viability before reintroducing them to the sea.
Coral reefs are home to millions of marine species, support healthy marine food webs and protect coastlines, experts say. Florida’s coral reefs are tourist attractions and support the local economy.
“We want to restore corals in a way that allows the corals on the reef to replicate themselves,” said Michael Crosby, president and chief executive officer of the Mote Oceanographic Institute. We want to put them out of business,” he said. and an aquarium.
Dr. Studivan said some of the corals in the Port of Miami are healthy, which is a good sign. “We’re trying to figure out how these corals were able to survive and whether the same mechanisms could be used successfully as part of coral restoration. brings coral back from ports and repopulates parts of the reef that have been destroyed.” Reuters
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/floridas-rising-water-temperatures-raise-concerns-for-health-of-coral-reefs Warming Florida Waters Raise Concerns About Coral Reef Health