Hawaii coral threatened by Pacific heat wave

The corals from the waters surrounding the Hawaii archipelago are in great danger. They may die because of a significant heatwave which will hit the American territory – temperatures will surpass even the records set in 2015, the hottest year for the Pacific Ocean, according to U.S. federal researchers.

Even the island Captain Cook is expected to be hit decisively by the astonishing heatwave which will be lethal for the corals. And the island is already showing early signs for what seems to be imminent. On the waters of Captain Cook we have one of the most abundant coral reefs from Hawaii.

“In 2015, we hit temperatures that we’ve never recorded ever in Hawaii,” said Jamison Gove, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What is really important — or alarming, probably more appropriately — about this event is that we’ve been tracking above where we were at this time in 2015.”

Hawaii’s reefs were monitored by high-tech equipment, and the researchers involved are already seeing signs of bleaching for the corals, due to high temperatures. June, July and a few days of August all experienced the hottest ocean temperatures ever recorded around the Hawaiian Islands. As for September, oceanic temperatures are below only those seen in 2015.

“You have things like two giant volcanoes on the Big Island blocking the predominant trade winds,” making the island’s west coast, where Papa Bay sits, one of the hottest parts of the state, Gove said. He said he expects “severe” coral bleaching in those places, meaning that the corals will ultimately die.

Besides this event, oceanic temperatures will continue to grow, Gove said. “There’s no question that global climate change is contributing to what we’re experiencing,” he said.

It would be a true shame for such a miracle of nature like the corals to perish. The coral reefs are providing food and medicine for humans, so it’s an absolute necessity to save them somehow.

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