Sunday, August 28, 2011

Florida's Reefs Cannot Endure a 'Cold Snap'

ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2011) — Remember frozen iguanas falling from trees during Florida's 2010 record-breaking cold snap? Well, a new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science shows that Florida's corals also dropped in numbers due to the cold conditions.

"It was a major setback," said Diego Lirman, associate professor at the UM Rosenstiel School and lead author of the study. "Centuries-old coral colonies were lost in a matter of days."
The chilly January temperatures caused the most catastrophic loss of corals within the Florida Reef Tract, which spans 160 miles (260 kilometers) from Miami to the Dry Tortugas and is the only living barrier reef in the continental U.S.
Members of the Florida Reef Resilience Program, a group composed of Florida scientists and resource managers, conducted a month-long survey of 76 reefs sites from Martin County to Key West, both during and shortly after the unusually cold weather.
Article posted here

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