Dr John "Charlie" Vernon, "Godfather of Coral", warns that we may be seeing coral extinction now. The Great Barrier Reef is in critical danger. An unprecedented global coral bleach is underway. Coral suffers from from hot water, acid, and more frequent severe storms.
"In my view we are precipitating the conditions for a mass extinction," Dr Veron said.
"It is as bad as that."
Coral bleaching in American Somoa in the South Pacific. The left image was taken in December 2014; the right one was taken in February 2015, after a NOAA coral bleaching alert.
The second is how how little time has passed since the previous global-scale bleaching, which took place in 2010.
The shortened interval between bleachings means less recovery times and more losses,...
... the oceans are currently 30 percent more acidic than they were at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s.
While the Great Barrier Reef was under climate change assault, 700 kilometers of mangroves were killed on Australia's north coast.
Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.
International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change.
"It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died,"...
Meanwhile the largest kelp forest in the world off of Australia's west coast hasn't recovered from a 2011 marine heat wave.
Kelp forests along some 100km of Western Australia’s coast have been wiped out, and many more areas damaged, by a marine heatwave that struck the area in 2011.
The heatwave, which featured ocean temperatures more than 2℃ above normal and persisted for more than 10 weeks, ushered in an abrupt change in marine plant life along a section of Australia’s Great Southern Reef, with kelp disappearing to be replaced by tropical species.
As we and our international colleagues report in the journal Science, five years on from the heatwave, these kelp forests show no signs of recovery.
Australia's coastal ecosystems are in serious trouble. It's one more sign that we're crossing climate tipping points at less than 1.5°C rise.
The ocean surface has cooled as much as it's going to in the current weak La Nina, but water is still too hot for corals. As we transition into a neutral state, it looks as if the coral bleaching event that started in 2014 will keep going with no end in sight. In other words we already crossed a coral death tipping point two years ago.
A global coral bleaching event that began in 2014 continues. It is the longest coral bleaching event on record. But unless oceans somehow cool off, it won’t really end. With only a weak La Nina emerging following a strong El Nino and a record spike in global temperatures, there is some risk that this ongoing event will ebb and flare on a nearly indefinite basis.