Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed huge swaths of Hawaii’s fragile reefs, scientists are warning that a return of record-setting hot water in the Pacific will cause more widespread bleaching, and possibly coral death.
One of the state’s most vibrant coral reefs thrives just below the surface in a bay on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.
On a remote shoreline far from the impacts of sunscreen and throngs of tourists, scientists see early signs of what’s expected to be a catastrophic season of coral bleaching in Hawaii.
The ocean here is about three and a half degrees above normal for this time of year. Coral can recover from bleaching, but when it is exposed to heat over several years, the likelihood of survival decreases.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.