Climate change: sponge bleaching worries scientists

For the first time since systematic observations began, extensive mass bleaching of sponges has occurred in Fiordland, New Zealand – a phenomenon known hitherto primarily from overheated corals. Up to 95 percent of all sponges are affected in some areas, Scientists report on James Bell of Victoria University of Wellington in the “Guardian”.. This may be due to an intense local heat wave in the Pacific: average water temperatures in April were the highest in the area so far measured. The length and intensity of a heat wave off the southwest coast of the South Island has exceeded any event in at least 40 years.

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