13 Jun 2019

Tahiti, Mo'orea coral bleaching most devastating in years

From Morning Report, 8:42 am on 13 June 2019

A coral bleaching around the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Mo'orea is being described as the most devastating seen in years.

And what's worrying scientists most is that it took them by surprise. As ocean temperatures continue to warm because of climate change, they say that could be devastating for the Pacific - and the planet - because coral reefs are vital not only to ocean ecology but to the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Jamie Tahana from RNZ Pacific reports.