Hawaii reefs threatened by coral bleaching

Hawaii’s coral reefs are expected to suffer from the worst mass bleaching event in recent history due to higher-than-usual ocean temperatures, a team of scientists announced last week.

Coral reef, Kauai coast, Hawaii.

Coral reef, Kauai coast, Hawaii. Image by ruthdaniel3444 / CC BY 2.0

Bleaching occurs when warm water causes coral to expel a type of algae that provide nutrients to the coral. Without the algae, which also provides coral pigmentation, the coral turns white. Without access to the nutrients, the coral also becomes susceptible to disease. Scientists say Hawaii’s reefs are only now bouncing back from a 2014 bleaching event. Read more: ap.org 

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