With the recent, massive heatwaves around the northern hemisphere, there’s more than just human suffering when the temperatures get that hot.
In southern Florida, the ocean temperatures have reached a shocking 101º F (38.3 C) or higher, the highest recorded. In addition to feeling like a hot tub on a hot day, the extreme ocean temperatures are wreaking havoc on coral reefs, with many of them experiencing rapid bleaching.
This bleaching often leads to coral deaths, which imparts even more harm on ocean environments, home to thousands of species of fish and marine life.
As ocean water temps reached record highs this July, scientists took the dramatic step of taking coral samples out of the ocean, in order to keep them in a temperature-controlled environment. The Coral Restoration Foundation is one of the key organizations leading the effort to rescue coral before bleaching kills them forever.
This recent heatwave’s longterm effects on the ocean in Florida are too recent to calculate, but we know for sure it’s not good for the planet, and the extreme ocean temperatures may do more harm to other species beyond just coral and reef fish.