These corals — their lives, their futures — will be decided just a few miles away up on land by people sitting in these convention halls. Richard wants to take the people from that meeting out onto this reef to say, “This is literally what’s at stake here.”
By raising sea temperatures, climate change is eradicating the world’s coral. Because coral reefs provide sustenance and protection to vast numbers of humans and marine organisms, it would be a big deal for them to go extinct. The El Niño that lasted from 2014 to 2017 caused a global-scale mass coral bleaching event of unprecedented severity, which damaged a majority of coral reefs around the world. The makers of Chasing Coral managed to document this calamity.
The record-breaking marine heatwave in 2016 across the Great Barrier Reef has left much of the coral ecosystem at an “unprecedented” risk of collapse, research shows. A new study published in Nature finds that the surge in sea temperatures during the 2016 bleaching event led to an immediate and long-lasting die-off of coral.