A international Study lead by the University of Queensland predicts a mass coral bleaching event that is caused by record breaking heatwave in the ocean surface waters. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland School of the Environment spoke at the COP28 climate change meetings in Dubai about the effects of climate change and the upcoming cycle of El Nino in the coming months. Historic Data suggests that the present early heatwave will be just the beginning of a mass coral bleaching and mortality event in the eastern tropical Pacific and wider Caribbean.
Across July 2023, Earth experienced its warmest days on record since 1910, as well as the warmest month ever recorded for sea surface temperatures. This puts immense pressure on vital but fragile tropical ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grass meadows. Professorf Hoegh-Guldenberg warned that the findings come at a critical point in the protection efforts while the commitment to the fight against climate change is weakening in many nations.
At our coral farm we have witnessed that even small changes can have great effects on the fragile coral. Slight changes in temperature can kill of the algae within the coral structure and cause the bleaching effect. Without the algae the coral can’t produce all the nutrients it needs to flourish and stuns its growth and can ultimately lead to the coral dying. This is one reason we pack the coral we ship into insulated containers, so that the coral can maintain close to the ideal temperature for the remainder of the shipping process. We know how fragile our reefs are and how easy they can be damaged by adverse conditions. We support efforts to repopulate reefs around us in the tropical waters of Southeast Asia. However, all the efforts of the countless volunteers are futile if we are not able to curb the effects of climate change. The cost of doing nothing will be devastating to us all. Our little enterprise of coral farming may be one of the first casualties of Climate Change but will not be the last.