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South Florida's Ocean Temperatures Reach Hot-Tub Levels

South Florida's ocean temperatures reach hot-tub levels, reaching triple digits for two consecutive days. This extreme heat in the seawater is causing concern among meteorologists, who believe it may be the hottest seawater ever recorded, although there are some uncertainties surrounding the measurement.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
Jul 27, 202324 Shares23582 Views
South Florida's ocean temperatures reach hot-tub levels, reaching triple digits for two consecutive days. This extreme heat in the seawater is causing concern among meteorologists, who believe it may be the hottest seawater ever recorded, although there are some uncertainties surrounding the measurement.
The impact of this prolonged hot water on Florida's marine ecosystem is already proving devastating. Scientists have observed coral bleaching and the death of some corals in what was once considered one of the Florida Keys' most resilient reefs. These distressing effects highlight the urgency of addressing climate change, which has been setting temperature records worldwide throughout this month.
Beyond the ecological consequences, the abnormally warm water acts as fuel for hurricanes, adding to the concerns for Florida's vulnerability to severe weather events.
Despite scientists' cautiousness about the accuracy of the readings, National Weather Service meteorologist George Rizzuto reported that the buoy at Manatee Bay recorded a temperature of 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit (38.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday evening. The previous night, the same buoy displayed an online reading of 100.2 F (37.9 C). Rizzuto acknowledged that this temperature is potentially a record-breaking measurement.
This is a hot tub. I like my hot tub around 100, 101, (37.8, 38.3 C). That’s what was recorded yesterday.- Yale Climate Connections meteorologist Jeff Masters
If confirmed, the Monday reading would surpass the previous record set three summers ago off the coast of Kuwait, which registered at 99.7 degrees Fahrenheit (37.6 degrees Celsius), by nearly 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
“We’ve never seen a record-breaking event like this before,” Masters said.

Water temperatures in Florida hit hot tub levels

The impact on sea corals is severe. According to NOAA researcher Andrew Ibarra, who ventured to the area on his kayak, he observed that the entire reef was experiencing bleaching. Every single coral colony showed signs of paling, partial bleaching, or complete bleaching. Tragically, some corals had already died. This comes after the University of Miami reported bleaching last week, leading NOAA to raise the coral alert level earlier this month.
Until the 1980s, coral bleaching was a rare occurrence, but now it has become distressingly common, as stated by Enochs. Bleaching weakens corals and can lead to their death, and it happens when water temperatures exceed the upper 80s (low 30s Celsius), explained Enochs.
While the hot temperatures align with the overall climate trends in Florida, there is a possibility that Monday's reading may not be officially recognized as a record due to the area's shallowness, presence of sea grasses, and potential influence from the warm land nearby Everglades National Park, according to Masters and University of Miami tropical meteorologist Brian McNoldy. Nevertheless, McNoldy expressed amazement at the situation.
According to McNoldy, the occurrence of two 100-degree measurements on consecutive days adds credibility to the data. Additionally, water temperatures in the area have remained in the upper 90s for over two weeks.
While Manatee Bay may not have many coral reefs, scientists conducting dives at Cheeca Rocks in the Florida Keys discovered bleaching and even coral death. Ian Enochs, who heads the coral program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, reported these distressing findings in some of the Florida Keys' most resilient corals.
This is more, earlier than we have ever seen. I’m nervous by how early this is occurring.- Ian Enochs, leader at the coral program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Conclusion

NOAA reports that sea surface temperatures have been setting monthly heat records globally for April, May, and June. Additionally, temperatures in the north Atlantic Ocean have reached unprecedented levels, with some areas near Newfoundland being as much as 9 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 6 degrees Celsius) above normal, as pointed out by McNoldy.
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