Great Barrier Reef’s worst bleaching leaves giant coral graveyard: ‘It looks as if it has been carpet bombed’ – the Guardian

One Tree Island, Great Barrier Reef: the majority of corals have died and among the few survivors, many are now bleached. In the foreground are two small bleached Galaxea colonies and an unbleached Montipora - May 1, 2024 (by John Turnbull CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

Last month the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority released a report warning that the reef was experiencing “the highest levels of thermal stress on record”. The authority’s chief scientist, Dr Roger Beeden, spoke of extensive and uniform bleaching across the southern reefs, which had dodged the worst of much of the previous four mass bleaching events to blight the Great Barrier Reef since 2016…

Corals are bleaching in every corner of the ocean, threatening its web of life – the Washington Post

Bleached plate corals and Sea Fans on Molasses Reef, Key Largo, Florida (by Matt Kieffer CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

First around Fiji, then the Florida Keys, then Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and now in the Indian Ocean. In the past year, anomalous ocean temperatures have left a trail of devastation for the world’s corals, bleaching entire reefs and threatening widespread coral mortality — and now, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and International Coral Reef Initiative say the world is experiencing its fourth global bleaching event, the second in the last decade…

The Widest-Ever Global Coral Crisis Will Hit Within Weeks, Scientists Say – the New York Times

Bleached corals at low tide, Heron Island, Australia, April 10, 2024 (by John Turnbull CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

The world’s coral reefs are in the throes of a global bleaching event caused by extraordinary ocean temperatures…It is the fourth such global event on record and is expected to affect more reefs than any other. Bleaching occurs when corals become so stressed that they lose the symbiotic algae they need to survive. Bleached corals can recover, but if the water surrounding them is too hot for too long, they die…

Six Months After the Heat Spiked, Caribbean Corals Are Still Reeling – Hakai Magazine

Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis) in Bonaire, Caribbean Neatherlands, taken on January 21, 2024 (by Tom Murray CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

For many Caribbean corals, last year’s heat proved too much to bear. The more time corals spend in hot water, the more likely they are to bleach, turning white as they expel the single-celled algae that live within their tissues. Without these symbiotic algae—and the energy they provide through photosynthesis—bleached corals starve. Survival becomes a struggle, and what had been a healthy thicket of colorful coral can turn into a tangle of skeletons…

One way to save coral reefs? Deep freeze them for the future – NPR

Corals of Fagatele Bay in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. (by: Greg McFall courtesy of NOAA Office of Marine Sanctuaries CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Ocean temperatures have been extremely hot this summer, wreaking havoc on some of the world’s highly vulnerable coral reefs. With marine heat waves only expected to get worse as the climate changes, scientists are increasingly focusing on an emergency plan: collecting coral specimens and safeguarding them onshore….