Coral Reef Monitor Adds New Alert Levels to Keep Up With Soaring Ocean Temperatures

Feb 2, 2024

Alert Level 5 means ‘risk of near-complete mortality’ from coral bleaching, says Coral Reef Watch

Ocean temperatures are rising so dramatically that the organization that monitors threats to coral reefs worldwide has added three new alert categories.

Coral Reef Watch is a program run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that uses satellites and computer models to monitor heat risk to reefs.

Marine scientists and conservationists use the system’s data to understand the impact of warming temperatures on coral reefs, which are diverse marine ecosystems and a key indicator of ocean health.

“Unfortunately, last year got so hot in the wider Caribbean that our pre-existing alert system really was not doing a very good job reflecting just how severe the heat stress had gotten,” Derek Manzello, director of Coral Reef Watch, told As It Happens host Nil Köksal.

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