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Environ Monit Assess. 2016 Mar;188(3):175. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5176-8. Epub 2016 Feb 18.

Differential bleaching of corals based on El Niño type and intensity in the Andaman Sea, southeast Bay of Bengal.

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National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, 600 100, India.
Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, 682 016, India.
National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, 600 100, India.
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, 682 018, India.
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, 411 008, India.
National Institute of Oceanography, Kochi, 682 018, India.


The Andaman coral reef region experienced mass bleaching events during 1998 and 2010. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of the El Niño in the coral reef bleaching events of the Andaman region. Both Niño 3.4 and 3 indices were examined to find out the relationship between the mass bleaching events and El Niño, and correlated with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Andaman Sea. The result shows that abnormal warming and mass bleaching events in the Andaman Sea were seen only during strong El Niño years of 1997-1998 and 2009-2010. The Andaman Sea SST was more elevated and associated with El Niño Modoki (central Pacific El Niño) than conventional El Niño (eastern Pacific El Niño) occurrences. It is suggested that the development of hot spot patterns around the Andaman Islands during May 1998 and April-May 2010 may be attributed to zonal shifts in the Walker circulation driven by El Niño during the corresponding period.


Bleaching; Coral reefs; El Niño; Hot spot; Indian Ocean; Sea surface temperature

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