Coral Catastrophe on Christmas Island Reefs
80% of the coral around the world's largest coral atoll is dead
Dr. Julia Baum, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, studied the Christmas Island coral just last month and was shocked to see that 80 percent was dead, another 15 percent was bleached but still alive, and only 5 percent is still healthy.
The past year's unusually severe El Niño event - which has raised the water temperature around the island an average of 2° C - is to blame. It is estimated that El Niño has left more than one-third of reefs around the world on death watch.