17 Aug 2010:
Spike In Ocean Temperatures
Causes Coral Bleaching off Indonesia
A spike in ocean temperatures has devastated coral reef populations off the Indonesian coast
this summer, bleaching more than 60 percent of the coral off Aceh province, scientists say. Coral bleaching, which occurs when heat drives out algae living within coral tissues, is an indicator of stress that could
eventually kill coral populations. The team of international scientists found that warmer waters have killed 80 percent of some species and predicted that more colonies could die within months. They blamed rising sea surface temperatures in the Andaman Sea. Temperatures have soared this summer, reaching a peak in May of 34 degrees Celsius (93 F), about 4 degrees C higher than long-term averages, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “This is a tragedy not only for some of the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs, but also for people in the region, many of whom are extremely impoverished and depend on these reefs for their food and livelihoods,” said Caleb McClennen, marine program director for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Meanwhile, a new study says rising ocean temperatures in the waters along the U.S. East Coast have reduced the range
where blue mussels are able to survive.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.