Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Scientists Investigate Unusual South Pacific Coral Bleaching Event


Scientists are investigating the unusual coral bleaching event around the French Polynesian island of Moorea in the central South Pacific Ocean.

What made this event unusual and drew the attention of ocean scientists was that it occurred in a year ( April and May 2019) with no El Nino conditions.

The team found that anti-cyclonic eddies caused the event. These currents elevated sea levels and led to a concentration of warmer waters on top of the reefs. This effect created an underwater marine heatwave that was not visible from the surface. The event highlights the importance of collecting data at the surface and deeper in the water column.

According to Prof. Alex Wyatt, the research team lead from the Department of Ocean Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:

“The present study highlights the need to consider environmental dynamics across depths relevant to threatened ecosystems, including those due to the passage of underwater ocean weather events. This kind of analysis depends on long-term, in situ data measured across ocean depths, but such data is generally lacking. Our paper provides a valuable mechanistic example for assessing the future of coastal ecosystems in the context of changing ocean dynamics and climates.”

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmyhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for DeeperBlue.com