Caribbean Sea

October 22, 2010

Record year for Caribbean coral reef die-off?

Nancy Knowlton

photo: Samuel Chow

Temperatures in the Caribbean this year broke 2005 levels, leading to fears that the coral reef die-off could also surpass 2005 levels, the worst year on record for both. Nancy Knowlton (1999) reported that she has never seen bleaching like this in Panama before. The reefs she studies are now covered in very rare layers of grey slime from dead microbes, a condition that she said is abnormal even for bleached reefs.