About 25% of all marine species are found in or near reefs, such as this parrotfish doing so in Key West, Florida.
On Monday, the shallow waters off the coast of south Florida reached temperatures of above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 C) for many hours, which may have broken a world record.
The data was collected from a single buoy placed at a depth of 5 feet (1.5 metres) in Manatee Bay, which is located roughly 38 miles (60 km) southwest of Miami.
The highest recorded temperature was 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:00 p.m., and it lingered over 100 degrees for almost 4 hours, as the primary data showed.
While there is no official world record for sea surface temperature, meteorologist and former government researcher Jeff Masters tweeted in 2019 that a clinical article from 2020 found that the previous high may have been 99.7 F recorded in Kuwait Bay.
As Masters points out, the latest measurement was made close to land, thus there is a chance that “contamination of the measurement by land results and natural matter in the water may… revoke the record.”
“Unless there is photographic evidence that particles was not present, it would be challenging to (validate) the 101. F record as legitimate,” he wrote on social media.
While prolonged exposure to such extreme heat may be relaxing for some humans, it is devastating for the reef ecosystem and the species that rely on it.
This news arrives only days after the non-profit Coral Reef Foundation (CRF) reported the destruction of a single reef in south Florida that it had been trying to revive.
We’ve been doing repairs at Sombrero Reef for years, so CRF teams headed there. In a statement, the company’s Phanor Montoya-Maya said, “What we discovered was inconceivable—100% coral death.”
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the biodiversity of reefs equals that of tropical jungles, with about 25 percent of all marine species discovered in, on, or near reef.
On Monday, during an unprecedented heat wave, the Mediterranean Sea reached its highest recorded temperature ever, Spanish experts told AFP on Tuesday.
According to the Spanish Institute of Marine Sciences, “we achieved a new record… in the everyday typical sea surface area temperature level of the Mediterranean: 28.71 C (83.68 F).”
The previous high average temperature was 82.86 F, set on August 23, 2003.
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt predicts that July 2023 will be the hottest month on record and the warmest in maybe thousands of years.
The outcomes are mostly attributed to human-caused environment alteration, he recently noted, and “we are seeing unmatched modifications all over the world,” with records being broken on land and in the sea.
© 2023 AFP
25 July 2023, from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-florida-ocean-temperature-topped-100f.html, citing Florida ocean temperature level tops 100F, perhaps establishing record.
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