Friday, January 19, 2018

Why the ocean needs an Oscar

News about vanishing coral reefs was part of the story of 2017. Every time I dive a reef, my breath is taken away by the incredible beauty and bewildering diversity of life in the tropical seas. But around the world, corals are now sadly sentinels of ocean change.

Since the 1970s, more than 93 per cent of the extra heat from greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the ocean. To understand how much heat that is, researchers who worked on the amazing Netflix documentary Chasing Coral have suggested that we think of it this way: If the ocean wasn’t absorbing it, average global temperatures on land would be far higher—around 122°F (50 Celsius). Global average surface temperature right now is about 59°F (15 Celsius). A 122°F world, would be unlivable.

So more than 93 per cent of climate change is out of sight and out of mind for most of us, but as the ocean continues to take on all of this heat, it is becoming a real hazard for the majority of life on Earth. Their home, the world’s ocean, is becoming too hot and too acidic to live in. In turn, the risks we are exposing ourselves to as a result, are terrifying.

Chasing Coral is a must-watch documentary for everyone. It is the story of a band of scientists, film-makers and concerned individuals who set out to tell us one story and end up documenting the heart-wrenching death of parts of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a powerful story of the importance of science, the wonders and pitfalls of technology, the opportunities of innovation, and the stories and experiences of each of the people involved. Read More