For marine aquarists interested in or concerned about the heath and conservation of our planet’s coral reefs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA – has a remarkably-informative online tool. NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program website provides volumes of information on coral types, growth, cultivation, conservation and threats to our reefs, as well as wonderful resources for educators, links to academic papers and research data and much more. This site also provides links to other NOAA programs, including its Coral Reef Information System and its Coral Reef Watch satellite monitoring system. This system, updated daily, shows areas of concern for risk of coral bleaching in all oceans worldwide.
Regardless of one’s position on global warming, the fact is that, since about 1985, the amount of thermal energy stored in our planet’s oceans has increased at an alarming rate such that last year marked the highest annual average ever recorded (to view the data, go here.) Coral bleaching is a direct result of increased ocean temperatures, so, unless and until this upward trend is reversed, our reefs will continue to be at peril.