The effects of climate change, such as coral bleaching, become slow-motion disasters, with knock-on effects for years.
Between March and July of that year, a rare climatological double whammy sent ocean temperatures spiking 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above the normal range for spring and summer. An unusually intense El Niño weather pattern coincided with the warm phase of another cyclical area weather event. This turned out to be a slow-motion disaster. Half the corals in the region bleached and died that year. Some had a 90 percent loss. "The bleaching and mortality event took about six months to fully unfold, but many of the reefs have not recovered even today -- 14 years after the event," said McClanahan, an employee of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He has spent more than 20 years working along Kenya's southeastern coast.