Coral Reefs in Florida Becoming Affected by Global Warming
In a new study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, water temperatures in the Florida Keys are 2 degrees warmer than they were a few decades ago. The increase in temperature is causing the corals to turn white from symbiotic loss – a condition that could cause the corals to die.
A USGS study on the ocean temperature in Florida shows that the water is 2 degrees warmer that was recorded only a few decades ago. The increase in temperature is creating stress on the coral in the Florida Keys; as a result the corals are turning white from a loss of their symbiotic algae, which could starve the corals to death if the condition is allowed to persist.
"Our analysis shows that corals in the study areas are now regularly experiencing temperatures above 84 F during July, August and September; average temperatures that were seldom reached 120 years ago," said Ilsa Kuffner, a USGS research marine biologist and the study's lead author. "When corals are exposed to water temperatures above 84 F they grow more slowly and, during extended exposure periods, can stop growing altogether or die."
The study also shows that August was the month that the ocean temperatures seem to peak and reached nearly 86 degrees.