Caleb Jones, Associated Press
Updated 12:07 am CDT, Monday, September 23, 2019
This Sept. 12, 2019 photo shows bleaching coral in Kahala’u Bay in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed nearly half of this coastline’s coral, federal researchers are predicting another round of hot water will cause some of the worst coral bleaching the region has ever seen. lessThis Sept. 12, 2019 photo shows bleaching coral in Kahala’u Bay in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed nearly half of this coastline’s coral, federal researchers are … more
Photo: Caleb Jones, AP
Photo: Caleb Jones, AP
CAPTAIN COOK, Hawaii (AP) — Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed huge swaths of Hawaii’s fragile reefs, scientists are warning that a return of record-setting hot water in the Pacific will cause more widespread bleaching, and possibly coral death.
One of the state’s most vibrant coral reefs thrives just below the surface in a bay on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.
On a remote shoreline far from the impacts of sunscreen and throngs of tourists, scientists see early signs of what’s expected to be a catastrophic season of coral bleaching in Hawaii.
The ocean here is about three and a half degrees above normal for this time of year. Coral can recover from bleaching, but when it is exposed to heat over several years, the likelihood of survival decreases.
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