In an unexpected turn of events, temperatures in the ocean off the shores of Florida have surged past 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At 6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2023, a buoy in Manatee Bay, roughly 38 miles southwest of Miami, reported a temperature of 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the Florida Ocean Temperatures ever measured in Florida and could set a world record.
Climate change, a lack of wind, and the presence of a massive algae bloom are all being blamed for the record-breaking temperatures. Climate change is the long-term trend of rising temperatures that is driving ocean temperatures to rise globally. The absence of a breeze has kept the water from mixing, allowing heat to accumulate. The algae bloom contributes to the heat by absorbing sunlight and releasing heat into the water.
High water temperatures pose a significant threat to Florida’s coral reefs. Coral reefs are composed of small organisms known as corals, which require warm, clear water to survive. Corals can bleach when Florida Ocean Temperatures rise too high, losing their colorful algae and turning white. Bleached corals are more prone to perish, and if ocean temperatures remain high for an extended period of time, the entire reef may be lost. Other marine life is likewise threatened by rising water temperatures. The heat can cause stress in fish, turtles, and other sea creatures, making them more prone to disease.
The record-breaking Florida Ocean Temperatures serve as a stark warning of climate change’s consequences. We should expect more extreme weather occurrences, including heat waves in the ocean, as the earth continues to warm. These occurrences will have disastrous consequences for marine life and coastal populations.
What Could be Done?
There are several things that can be done to mitigate the effects of climate change on ocean temperatures. These are some examples:
- Emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced.
- Tree planting
- Wetlands preservation and restoration
- Investing in renewable energy sources
- Individuals can also help by lowering their own carbon impact. This involves driving less, consuming less energy, and eating less meat.
The rising ocean temperatures off Florida’s coast are a wake-up call. We must act quickly to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and protect our oceans.