Extreme warming events 2023


I made my last observations within the Marine Protected Area in 2023 on April 3, and the first in 2024, on Jan 12. In the interim, Barbados,  along with most of the Caribbean area, was subjected to repeated high water temperature events, causing widespread coral bleaching.

In early 2024, I observed two groups of corals, now dead, presumably attributable to one or more of the extreme warming  events in 2023:

(i) Whitened corals, some discoloured by  epiphytes;

Corals on ‘Big Breakwater at Beachlands, Feb 20, 2023. Click on image for larger version. Arrows point to corals I assume were killed by coral bleaching in 2023 (comments sought). Also visible:  still healthy corals, corals likely killed or partially killed by SCTLD in 2023.

(ii) Corals recorded as living in 2023, now dead: these are specific corals I had observed and photographed as living and healthy in early 2023, now completely or largely dead and covered with small epiphytes, often with a layer of sand. To date those include the 3 Acropora species, Millepora comlanata and Millepora squarrosa

Two Aceopora prolifera specimens by Pseudodiploria clivosa on reef flat at Vauxhall Reef, fully healthy on March 30, 2023 (above), and dead and covered by epiphytes and sand on Jan 15, 2024 (below)

For details related to the Acropora species, see

The Acroporpoids, these Subpages:

 All 3 Acropopoids occur on Vauxhall Reef
– A palmata
– A. cervicornis
 A. prolifera