Reefs in the Caribbean facing heat stress condition

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) says the heat stress conditions for reefs are predicted to be at bleaching levels in the Caribbean over the period September to December this year.

In its latest Caribbean Coral Reef Watch bulletin, the CIMH said that heat stress in the southwest Caribbean basin has begun to increase, “however, not as significantly as last year.

“Most of the eastern and northern Caribbean forecasted to not experience notable heat stress until

August. In comparison to 2020, the predictions for 2021 provide a more positive outlook of heat stress impacts,” the CIMH added.

The four-month outlook predicts waters around Florida and the Bahamas will be in Bleaching Warning and Alert Level 1 conditions in September.

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA) says mass coral bleaching events, some on the global scale, have been occurring more frequently in the last 30 years. It said a large number of coral reef areas in the United States and internationally had experienced severe bleaching, sometimes in back-to-back events.

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