From the article titled “Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists” that appeared in the April 9th Edition of the New York Times:
This is a huge, looming planetary crisis, and we are sticking our heads in the sand about it,” said Justin Marshall, the director of CoralWatch at Australia’s University of Queensland.
Bleaching occurs when high heat and bright sunshine cause the metabolism of the algae — which give coral reefs their brilliant colors and energy — to speed out of control, and they start creating toxins. The polyps recoil. If temperatures drop, the corals can recover, but denuded ones remain vulnerable to disease. When heat stress continues, they starve to death.
It seems unimaginable that future generations may not be able to experience the beauty of these incubators for the majority of sea-life. The graphic provided is, to say the least, eye-opening: