16 August 2010

Bleaching in Indonesia leads to massive death on reefs

A survey of corals in Aceh, Indonesia revealed one of the most rapid and severe coral mortality events ever recorded. The scientists found that 80% of some species have died since the initial assessment and more colonies are expected to die within the next few months.
The Wildlife Conservation Society today released initial field observations that indicate that a dramatic rise in the surface temperature in Indonesian waters has resulted in a large-scale bleaching event that has devastated coral populations.

WCS survey reefs in May and subsequently monitored them again in early August.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Hotspots website, temperatures in the region peaked in late May of 2010, when the temperature reached 34 degrees Celsius -- 4 degrees Celsius higher than long term averages for the area.

"This is a tragedy not only for some of the world's most biodiverse coral reefs, but also for people in the region, many of whom are extremely impoverished and depend on these reefs for their food and livelihoods," said WCS Marine Program Director Dr. Caleb McClennen.

Full articles on wildsingapore news.

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