Our Vanishing Coral Reefs

Climate Emergency Forum discusses the dire state of coral reefs globally due to rising ocean temperatures caused by climate change and a deep concern over their unprecedented bleaching.

This video was recorded on April 23rd, 2024, and published on May 12th, 2024 and represents the opinions of the discussion participants.

Coral bleaching, where corals expel the algae living symbiotically with them due to heat stress, was first observed in the 1980s but has become increasingly frequent and severe. The current global bleaching event, which began in February 2023, is described as the longest, most widespread, and intense on record, affecting all major reef regions from the tropics to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. Entire reef systems like the Great Barrier Reef are experiencing over 80% bleaching down to depths of 60 feet, which is extremely abnormal.

Coral reefs, which support 25% of marine life, provide immense ecological and economic value estimated at $9.8 trillion per year, and represent one of Earth’s most biodiverse ecosystems, are being destroyed before our eyes due to human-caused climate change. Grief is expressed over this loss of natural beauty and one of the planet’s greatest examples of mutualism between species.


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