Warm ocean waters bleach Hawaii coral for 2nd year in row - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Warm ocean waters bleach Hawaii coral for 2nd year in row

Photo Courtesy: DLNR Photo Courtesy: DLNR

By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

KANEOHE, Hawaii (AP) - Researchers say warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures are bleaching large sections of Hawaii's coral for the second year in a row.

Meteorologists say waters around Hawaii have been anywhere from 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal this summer.

The warm waters prompt coral to expel the algae they rely on for survival. It's called bleaching because coral lose their color when they do this.

Scientists are scheduled to discuss the extent of this year's bleaching at a news conference on Friday.

The phenomenon makes coral more susceptible to disease and increases the risk they will die. This is a troubling prospect for fish and other species that spawn in coral reefs. It's also a concern for Hawaii's tourism-dependent economy because many travelers come to the islands to enjoy marine life.

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