2014 coral bleaching expected to be massive

Coral bleaching occurs when water temperatures heat up and corals eject the colorful algae that live in them. Corals, which house a massive amount of marine life, can survive the bleaching process but show heightened mortality following the purge. With 2014’s ocean temperatures setting records across the globe, experts are starting to think Earth is on track for the worst bleaching events since the powerful El Niño of 1998, Mashable reports. There is no strong El Niño effect predicted for this year, though, and consequently scientists are speculating as to whether this sort of damage will become the norm as climate change continues unabated.

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