The Effect of Marine Heatwaves on Corals (Oceansciencetechnology.com)
The report, published in the journal Science, found that these changes, which trace back to the early 1980s when mass coral bleaching was first observed, strongly correlate with rising sea surface temperatures and climate cycles such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
In 2023, extreme marine heatwaves (MHWs) engulfed much of the eastern tropical Pacific and wider Caribbean. Many Caribbean reefs experienced historically high heat stress that started much earlier (one-to-two months) and were sustained for much longer than normal.
Derek Manzello, Ph.D., coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch program in College Park, Maryland, said; “Nearly all coral reef regions in the wider Caribbean, including Florida, were exposed to more than double the amount of heat stress that is expected to elicit mortality.