Scientists rely on the help of scuba divers and snorkelers
Between 2014 and 2015, roundabout 50 to 90 percent of corals around Hawaii have been damages due to a fatal bleaching event. Also in 2019, there was a long-lasting ocean heatwave around the archipelago - again, the coral were badly affected.
During the 2014/2015 heatwave, water temperatures throughout the Pacific rose by seven degrees Celsius above the average. A devastating coral bleaching was the result. Scientists are able to use satellite images to determine the temperatures at the coral reefs. What she can not do is to use the pictures to determine the progress of the coral bleaching in the reefs.
The scientists have now turned to the public: Using an online tool, divers and snorkelers can document the condition of the coral. The researchers can thus compare the online reports with the satellite data and hope to generate a kind of early warning system for future bleaching events.