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Almost three-quarters of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died from bleaching - 13th January


The Japanese environment ministry have reported that 70% of the Sekisei lagoon in Okinawa has been killed due to coral bleaching.

According to a report, rising sea temperatures caused by global warming are blamed for the phenomena.  

Bleaching occurs when unusually warm water causes coral to expel the algae living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white. Unless water temperatures quickly return to normal, the coral eventually dies from lack of nutrition.

The plight of the reef, has become “extremely serious” in recent years, according to the ministry, whose survey of 35 locations in the lagoon last November and December found that 70.1% percent of the coral had died.

The average sea surface temperature between last June and August in the southern part of the Okinawa island chain was one to two degrees warmer than usual – and the highest average temperature since records began in 1982, according to the Japan meteorological agency.

Read more here.

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