Scientists expect Hawaii's worst coral bleaching ever

2015-09-12 09:59

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Kaneohe - Researchers say warmer-than-normal Ocean temperatures around Hawaii this year will likely lead to the worst coral bleaching the islands have ever seen.

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Director Ruth Gates says many corals are only just recovering from last year's bleaching.

Warmer waters prompt coral to expel the algae they rely on for food. It's called bleaching because coral lose their color when they do this.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Brenchley says ocean temperatures around Hawaii are about 2C warmer than normal.

Bleaching makes coral more susceptible to disease and increases the risk they will die. This is a troubling for fish and other species that spawn in coral reefs. It's also a concern for Hawaii's tourism-dependent economy.

Read more on:    us  |  environment  |  climate change  |  marine life

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