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Global warming coupled with El Niño is causing mass coral bleaching. Photo: Duke University

Global warming coupled with El Niño is causing mass coral bleaching. Photo: Duke University


The Inertia

The irony is so thick you can feel it. Humans, the most-advanced apex of life on earth, are also the ultimate killers of life on earth. So when I say you can actually feel the irony, it’s true. Global warming is a real thing and it ain’t stoppin’. Couple that slow climb in temp with an El Niño year and we’ve got problems. The latest victim? Coral reefs.

NOAA released a report this week, which showed that the widespread water temperature increase is causing coral reefs to lose their vibrant color, particularly in Hawaii. This is only the third time on record of something like this happening.

Photo: NOAA

Photo: NOAA

“The coral bleaching and disease, brought on by climate change and coupled with events like the current El Niño, are the largest and most pervasive threats to coral reefs around the world,” said NOAA’s Mark Eakin. “As a result, we are losing huge areas of coral across the U.S., as well as internationally.”

Photo: NOAA

Photo: NOAA

Coral can survive mild bleaching, but if it continues (which is a possibility due to El Niño), it’s lethal. If the coral goes, the wildlife goes, too. And from there it’s just a slippery slope until the environmental apocalypse.

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