It gets back to that wonderful picture that William Anders took, “Earth Rise.” In that Christmas Eve of 1968, the population of the planet was about three-and-a-half million; now it’s almost seven-and-a-half million. Global climate change is a very, very real thing. We are working on a major project, part of a large grant from National Geographic to take a look at coral in peril — mission coral — throughout the world.
Coral reefs are the thermometer of our planet, the barometer of our planet. And they face enormous changes. Bathed in hot water right now, they bleach. The algae within the tissues of the coral leaves, the coral turns white, and in some cases, bleaches white and then dies. And reefs change.
Rising sea levels are affecting all of us throughout the world. They affect the coral reefs. Incredible storms are coming right now — bigger storms than have ever been recorded in living memory. And all this change is happening because global climate change is about water. It’s about rising temperatures and one more thing waiting in the wings — that’s ocean acidification. And ocean acidification is going to affect corals and a lot of other things within the ocean environment.