coral bleaching

  • Coral bleaching occurs when ocean waters get too warm, driving algae away from the reef and prompting a change in the coral.
  • Sometimes, bleaching leaves reefs pale white, while other times the coral takes on bright, neon shades.
  • Researchers believe this is due to a natural protective mechanism within the coral.

Coral bleaching can be devastating to a reef system. It happens when ocean water waters get too warm, prompting the corals to lose the algae that gives them much of their color. Humans are largely to blame for this , as warming ocean temperatures have been directly linked to global warming and mankind’s impact on the climate, but I digress.

As scientists have studied coral bleaching over the years, keeping track of how much damage is done to reef systems large and small and monitoring their recovery, they’ve noticed something odd. Sometimes, a reef system that suffers bleaching doesn’t turn a ghostly white like it normally would. Sometimes it looks like it was covered in various shades of neon highlighter. But why?

Continue reading…

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Scientists solve the mystery of why some coral changes color when stressed originally appeared on on Sun, 24 May 2020 at 16:10:32 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.