Bleaching has struck 90 percent of the coral reefs around Phuket, Thailand, and in 10 to 40 percent of them, this is irreversible. This is due to a greater than usual exposure to hot sun and warmer than normal water temperatures. This has placed the entire Andaman region’s reefs at risk this year. Other reefs around Thailand and the Australian Great Barrier Reef have also been affected. Scientists measured reef temperatures this week at 30.5 degrees. Prolonged exposure to 31 degrees or above is harmful.
The damage may be short-term, as the corals being bleached are fast-growing varieties. However more unseasonably warm weather would continue the trend, and if this was an annual change, regeneration may not take place.