Jul 18, 2023

Extreme Heat Threatens Coral Reefs in Florida Transcript

Extreme Heat Threatens Coral Reefs in Florida Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsCoral ReefExtreme Heat Threatens Coral Reefs in Florida Transcript

Ninety million people in 15 states are under alert amid a dangerous heat wave gripping parts of the U.S. Read the transcript here.

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David (00:00):

Tonight the life-threatening heat wave, authorities pointing to evidence of climate change again here in this country and across Europe. In the US more than 90 million Americans in at least 15 states under heat alerts tonight. Phoenix, hitting 110 degrees for an 18th day in a row. And as I mentioned, the alarming water temperatures off Florida tonight, and what they’re seeing in the coral. ABC’s Victor Oquendo out on the water tonight on this heat and the changing climate.

Victor Oquendo (00:26):

Tonight this record-breaking heat wave scorching millions across the country, around the world, and in the ocean, threatening lives and livelihoods. Phoenix, tying a record for 18 straight days of 110 degrees or higher. The air conditioning failing at this apartment building.

Razije Mukata (00:43):

We can’t even cook. We can’t even do anything at home. Soon as you turn the stove to cook it turns to 95 degrees inside.

Victor Oquendo (00:52):

Overseas, parts of Europe on fire as that Mediterranean heat wave intensifies. Evacuations near the Greek capital of Athens as a wildfire rages out of control.

This inferno in Spain’s Canary Islands destroying 10,000 acres, forcing thousands from their homes.

And here in the US more evidence of the changing climate. The temperature in the waters off Florida normally in the 80s this time of year, now in the 90s, threatening vital coral reefs.

Michael Studivan (01:20):

Some of our long-term monitoring sites here off of Miami are starting to show signs of early coral bleaching.

Victor Oquendo (01:27):

Over time, excessively hot water can kill coral, causing those white spots. Experts warn this could be one of the most severe bleaching events ever with the peak of summer still to come.

Michael Crosby (01:38):

The Florida Keys literally would not exist if it were not for the coral reef track.

Victor Oquendo (01:46):

And the water temperature off Miami Beach, 95 degrees today. Miami just hit a record 37 consecutive days with a heat index of 100 degrees. David.

David (01:56):

Really is extraordinary. Victor Oquendo tonight. Victor, thank you. Let’s get right to Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee tracking it all, and of course Ginger as I mentioned a moment ago it’s only mid-July, we still have a long way to go here this summer.

Ginger Zee (02:06):

That’s the thing, it started so early, David, so now it’s pick a record, any record, on the map.

Let’s focus on Phoenix. Not only this morning waking up for the eighth day in a row, which they’ve never done at 90 plus consecutively, but breaking that record of 110 plus. And there is no end in sight. Somewhere like El Paso that has seen a consecutive 100 plus for 32 days, that smashes their old record. And they’ll keep smashing it day after day because we stay much above average through the end of the month.

Now I want to take you to the other part, the smoke. So the wildfires have still been record-breaking up in Canada, that smoke in the Great Lakes, the Southeast tomorrow. Settles upstate New York and Vermont as well tomorrow evening before we clear it out, because there are storms. Tonight it’s about severe thunderstorm watches, lots of them. Indianapolis, Memphis to Little Rock. Tomorrow night this part of the northeast where we are now up to 300% of normal for the first two weeks of July David, going to get more rain tomorrow evening.

David (03:02):

All right, Ginger Zee with us tonight. We’ll see you tomorrow. Ginger. Thank you.

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