Climate Change, Coral Bleaching and Florida's Coral Reefs: The ...

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Climate Change, Coral Bleaching and Florida's Coral Reefs: The ...

Climate Change, CoralBleaching and Florida’s CoralReefs: The Canaries areDyingDr. C. Mark EakinNOAA Coral Reef Watch


the Canaries in the Coal Mineshttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


Corals: our Canaries in the Coal Mines”http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govWhy Do We Care?Value of Reefs• up to $375 billion in fish, seafood, tourism,and coastal protection worldwide$100,000-$600,000 /km 2• $17 billion in U.S. tourism• 45 million tourist visits to U.S. reefs• $247 million in commercial fishingon U.S. reef fish• 1 billion people rely on reef fish for food• One of the most diverse systems on earth


Why Do We Care?http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govWorldwide Reef Deterioration• 2/3 of reefs are severely degraded• 1/4 of reefs may be past recovery• Over 15% of the world’s reefsdied in 1997-1998 El Niño after bleaching


Top Threats to Reefs:• Human Population Growth• Overfishing• Coastal Development• Lack of Laws / Enforcement• Sedimentation (unnatural)• Lack of Education• Nutrient Enrichment• Algal Competition• Climate Change / Bleaching• Habitat Destruction• Tourism2004 Survey: 276 Coral Reef ScientistsKleypas and Eakin (2007)http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govOutlineIntroduction• Why do corals bleach?• Bleaching warnings from space2005 Caribbean Bleaching Event• Extent of bleaching• Climate context: why did the corals bleach?Future BleachingClimate of the 21st Century• How will corals respond?• What can we do?


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govWhat is Coral Bleaching?• Most of corals’ food comesfrom photosynthesiszooxanthellaeScott R. SantosSymbiotic algae


What is Coral Bleaching?• Most of corals’ food comesfrom photosynthesis• Corals can “bleach”due to stresszooxanthellaeScott R. Santos• Corals exposed tohigh temperaturesand/or high lightbecome stressedSymbiotic algae• Corals eject theiralgae; coral appears“bleached• If stress is mild orbrief, corals recover,otherwise they diehttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


Recent Decades: Catastrophic,Unprecedented BleachingWidespread bleaching in Belize(from Aronson and Precht 1997, 2001)19991995 1998http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govNOAA Coral Reef Watch ProgramSatellite Near Real-Time Coral Bleaching HotSpot Products( Twice-weekly at 50km resolution )Sea Surface Temperature(Night-time only)Bleaching HotSpotsDegree Heating Weeks (DHW)http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


Thermal Stress Index:NOAA Degree Heating Weeks1 DHW =1°C C abovemaximummonthlymean for 1week≥ 4 DHWs →≥ 8 DHWs →coral bleaching is expectedmass bleaching and mortality are expectedhttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


Contributed Bleaching ReportsAfter QC:> 1000 surveys> 50 collaborators> 25 JurisdictionsCountries or statesYellow data by colonyBlue data by coverGreen data by bothhttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govPercent of Coral Colonies BleachedTobUSVISabMexBelFL-KJamBahCubCaiPRTXDRFLColBVIBarGreFWICol-ABerCayVen


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govBleaching Can Lead to Disease• Many bleached colonieshave become diseased• Some diseases are rapidand devastatingInshore patch reefsMiddle Florida KeysMarilyn E. BrandtUniversity of Miami


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govImmediate Mortality (by Jan. 2006)FWIFWIUSVIColFWI


Virgin Islands N.P.Coral Bleaching SurveysS. Fore Reef, BUISTektite, VIISHaulover, VIISMennebeck, VIIS6 sites120 videotransects96% coral cover bleached42% coral cover dead90% coral cover bleached54% coral cover dead96% coral cover bleached45% coral cover dead94% coral cover bleached49% coral cover deadYawzi, VIISNewfound, STJ71% coral cover bleached39% coral cover dead92% coral cover bleached53% coral cover deadSouth Florida/Caribbean Network I&M Programhttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.govJ. Miller (unpublished) 21


Photo by Judd PattersonSouth Florida/Caribbean Network I&M Programhttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govFlorida: Missing the WorstKatrinaRitaWilma


2005 Hurricane Season• Most named storms• Most hurricanes• Most damage in UShttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


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Warmest Caribbean in Over 100 YearsWarmestSeptember ineasternCaribbeanNOAA ERSST data(Smith and Reynolds 2004)http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govplot courtesy NOAA CDC


Future changeCoralbleachingthresholdDoubling http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govof CO 2- Hoegh-Guldberg(1999)


Bleaching Under Future Climates?HadCM3 (2030-39)39)PCM (2030-39)39)HadCM3 (2050-59)59) PCM (2050-59)59)0.00.20.40.60.81.0ProjectedbleachingfrequencyofDHM >1underSRES A2(Donner etal. GlobalChangeBiology2005)Corals must adapt to 0.2°C/decadetemperature risehttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govBleaching Under Future Climates?HadCM3 (2030-39)39)PCM (2030-39)39)0.00.20.4HadCM3 (2050-59)59) PCM (2050-59)59)0.60.81.0Corals must adapt to0.2°C/decadetemperature rise(Donneret al. 2005)


Importance of Genetic Diversityin Coral Survival460 colonies monitoredFirst recorded bleaching of elkhorncorals in US Virgin Islandshttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


© WWF-Canon / Jürgen FREUNDMultiple, Synergistic Stresses on bothGlobal & Local Scales© WWF-Canon / Jürgen FREUND© WWF-Canon / Tanya PETERSENhttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov20© WWF-Canon / Diego M. GARCES Krista Kennell


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govDeciding the future for coral reefsReef condition2006temperature1950 2000 21502100


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govShort-term term Opportunities forCoral Bleaching ManagementLocal managers can:• Reduce bleaching• Reduce light stress• Cool reefs, increase mixing


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govShort-term term Opportunities forCoral Bleaching ManagementLocal managers can:• Reduce bleaching• Reduce light stress• Cool reefs, increase mixingQuicksilver ConnectionsSmall yeteconomicallyimportant effect


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govShort-term term Opportunities forCoral Bleaching ManagementLocal managers can:• Reduce bleaching• Reduce light stress• Cool reefs, increase mixing• Increase survival• Improve water quality• Reduce disease prevalence


Short-term term Opportunities forCoral Bleaching ManagementLocal managers can:• Reduce bleaching• Reduce light stress• Cool reefs, increase mixing• Increase survival• Improve water quality• Reduce disease prevalence• Aid recovery• Coral fragmentation• Encourage recruitment• Protect ecosystem functions (herbivory)http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govNeed for QuickManagement Action


Ocean AcidificationThe Elephant in theRoom:pHCO 32-CO 2(aq)2006After Wolf-Gladrow et al., 1999http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


We don’t want to lose all of our canarieshttp://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov


http://coralreefwatch.noaa.govConclusions• Threats to coral reefs continue to increase• As oceans warm, bleaching will continue• Necessary Change: Slow or reverse emissions• Buy Time: Increase ecosystem resilience• Can improved management save reefs fromecological disaster?

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