Over the last few years, the die off of coral reefs has accelerated rapidly. Scientists interviewed for the article below attribute the recent acceleration as beginning in 2013:
Innis, Michelle (2016, April 9). Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/world/asia/climate-related-death-of-coral-around-world-alarms-scientists.html?emc=edit_th_20160410&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=32962000
Scientists say the global bleaching is the result of an unusual confluence of events, each of which raised water temperatures already elevated by climate change. In the North Atlantic, a strong high-pressure cell blocked the normal southward flow of polar air in 2013, kicking off the first of three warmer-than-normal winters in a row as far south as the Caribbean.A large underwater heat wave formed in the northeastern Pacific in early 2014, and has since stretched into a wide band along the west coast of North America, from Baja California to the Bering Sea. Nicknamed the Blob, it is up to four degrees Fahrenheit warmer than surrounding waters, and has been blamed for a host of odd phenomena, including the beaching of hungry sea lions in California and the sighting of tropical skipjack tuna off Alaska.Then came 2015, with the most powerful El Niño climate cycle in a century. It blasted heat across the tropical and southern Pacific...
“We are currently experiencing the longest global coral bleaching event ever observed,” said C. Mark Eakin, the Coral Reef Watch coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Maryland. “We are going to lose a lot of the world’s reefs during this event.”...Lurid reports of damaged reefs started coming in from worried scientists in the summer of 2014...
Climate change is such a convenient culprit given the amorphous nature of its causality.
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