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diver on a coral reef

Collecting Critical Data

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Thomas DeCarlo recovers a data logger that recorded temperatures on Dongsha Atoll during a recent bleaching event. Water temperatures on Dongsha, a coral reef ecosystem in the northern South China Sea, increased by 6°C in June 2015 as a local wind and wave anomaly amplified El Niño-driven warming of the open ocean surrounding the atoll. DeCarlo, his advisor WHOI scientist Anne Cohen, and project dive master Pat Lohmann witnessed the start of the bleaching event and returned two weeks later to find 40 percent of the corals already dead. DeCarlo is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Western Australia. (Photo by Pat Lohmann, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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