Hawaii’s coral reefs are showing signs of recovery.
Nearly half of the island’s coral reefs were bleached during heat waves in 2014 and 2015.
When ocean temperatures rise, coral expel the algae they rely on for food. This causes their skeletons to lose their color and appear “bleached.”
Coral can recover if the water cools. But they die if high temperatures persist. Dying coral reefs leave fish without habitats and coastlines less protected from storm surges.
Coral reefs in Hawaii are now stabilizing and poised to recover, according to scientists from The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
However, scientists think that heatwaves will become more frequent and more intense in the years to come due to climate change, and fear for the future of coral reefs.