Florida ocean temperature topped 100˚F, setting potential record

Florida ocean temperature topped 100˚F, setting potential record

Shallow waters off south Florida topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8˚C) for several hours on Monday, potentially setting a new world record with temperatures more commonly associated with hot tubs.

The readings were taken from a single buoy in Manatee Bay, about 38 miles (60 kilometers) southwest of Miami, at a depth of five feet (1.5 meters).

A peak temperature of 101.1˚F was recorded at 6:00 pm, but it remained above 100˚F for about four hours, official data showed.

The sauna-like conditions might be enjoyable for some humans, but sustained extreme heat is devastating for coral reef ecosystems and the species that depend on them.

It comes days after the nonprofit Coral Reef Foundation (CRF) said that one reef in south Florida it had been working to restore had been devastated.

“CRF teams visited Sombrero Reef, a restoration site we’ve been working at for over a decade. What we found was unimaginable—100% coral mortality,” said the organization’s Phanor Montoya-Maya, in a statement.

About 25 percent of all marine species are found in, on, or around coral reefs, rivalling the biodiversity of tropical rainforests, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Across the globe, the Mediterranean Sea reached its highest temperature on record Monday during an exceptional heat wave, Spanish researchers told AFP on Tuesday.

“We attained a new record… in the daily median sea surface temperature of the Mediterranean: 28.71˚C (83.68˚F),” Spain’s Institute of Marine Sciences said.

“We are seeing unprecedented changes all over the world,” he said last week, with records being broken on land and in the sea, and the effects mostly attributable to human-caused climate change.