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Coral Bleaching in the Caribbean DLESE Reviewed Collection
Corals feed on algae that thrive in the sunlit water surrounding a reef. However, when water temperatures get too warm, the algae food source dies and corals turn a whitish color. Through scientific observation, it has been determined that coral bleaching may occur when sea surface temperature (SST) exceeds 30C or 86F for a week or longer. During late 2005, a major coral bleaching event occurred when these conditions existed in the Caribbean Sea. In this lesson, students will collect SST data from the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server, create time-series line plots, and use the plots to study this coral bleaching event. The lesson provides detailed procedure, related links, sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Atmospheric science
  • Climatology
  • Cryology
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
  • Hydrology
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
  • Physics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
Cost information is not known
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-036
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Places and regions:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Dr Lin Chambers