The corals are casualties of surging global temperatures which have smashed historical records in the past year - caused mainly by fossil fuels driving up carbon emissions and accelerated by the El Niño weather pattern, which heats ocean temperatures in this part of the world.

Credits: envato elements;

Bleaching occurs when marine heat waves put corals under stress, causing them to expel algae from their tissue, draining their colour. Corals can recover from bleaching if the temperatures return to normal, but they will perish if the water stays warmer than usual.