A video released by researchers at Queensland University of Technology shows coral reacting to higher sea surface temperatures. The coral is seen convulsing in a process called ‘’bleaching’’ which is the coral’s effort to remove algae. In normal conditions, algae living in the tissues of coral supplies the coral with up to 95 percent of its daily metabolic energy.
However, as sea temperatures rise the algae becomes unable to photosynthesize and oxidizes. This oxidisation makes the algae toxic to the coral, explaining the expulsion of the algae seen in the video. The university research team, led by Brett Lewis, have been observing the behaviour of coral for nearly two years.