WIO bleaching alert 15/1/21

Photo credit: The Ocean Agency

2020 was tied with 2016 as the warmest years on record, making it the sixth in a series of exceptionally warm years starting in 2015, and resulting in 2011-2020 being the warmest decade recorded. Despite this, the Western Indian Ocean corals seem to have suffered only moderate bleaching and low mortality in 2020.

2021 was forecast to be hotter than the preceding few years and as the year begins, global ocean conditions indicate an active La Niña which is projected to extend to mid-2021, and a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) state expected to last through the bleaching season.