The coral reefs are sending us a message. Higher temperatures are stressing the corals, causing them to bleach or turn white. Bleaching happens when corals lose the tiny algae that live in and feed the corals. Stressed corals that survive bleaching then begin to starve. Coral reefs play an integral role in the health of our ocean ecosystem. They are home to millions of marine species, directly influence Hawaii’s tourism economy, and protect our shores. We offer this resource for local residents, visitors, and the science community to learn about and help track the effects of bleaching.
2015 was hot! The average global temperature was the highest ever recorded. Cyclical climatic ocean events, such as El Niño, stressed reefs worldwide with warmer than normal water. This interactive map of 2015 sea surface temperature shows the heart-beat of seasonal change.
Explore NOAA and HIMB survey data from the 2014 and 2015 Events