Fourth Global Mass Coral Bleaching Event

April 16, 2024

Coral around the world is turning white and even dying as recent record ocean heat takes a devastating toll. It has triggered the fourth global mass coral bleaching event, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Bleaching happens when coral gets stressed and turns white because the water it lives in is too hot. Coral sustains ocean life, fishing, and creates trillions of dollars of revenue annually. Ocean heat records have been falling for months but this is the first global evidence of how this episode is affecting sea life.

Corals turning white and dying after record heat, say scientists | BBC News

Summary:

  • The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared the fourth Mass Coral bleaching event, endangering coral reefs worldwide.
  • Rising ocean temperatures, driven by climate change and El Nino, are causing coral to expel algae, turn white, and die out.
  • Coral reefs are crucial ecosystems supporting a quarter of all marine life, and their loss would impact fishing industries and economies worldwide.
  • While some local restoration efforts have seen success, scientists are preparing for a future with less diverse and resilient coral reefs.
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