BOSTON (CBS) – David Arnold has spent the past decade documenting Climate Change through pictures.
Some of his photographs document climate change over the past several years.
“This is the British Virgin Islands on Roane reef. It has not only turned white it has bleached,” he says as he looks through his photographs. “No one is even acknowledging how fast this is accelerating, to me that is the most shocking.”
Arnold has seen the changes first hand.
After experiencing huge success photographing the melting glaciers from Alaska to the Alps, he has embarked on a new project to show the decline of the world’s shallow water coral reefs; the ecosystems which help to serve one quarter of all marine life in the oceans.
“All places I visited, all the shots I took, showed significant change.”
The challenge was to find unique photographs of underwater landmarks or reefs taken many years ago and go find that exact spot to capture it in it’s current state, he said.
Photos captured from St. Croix to Jamaica show the earth changing.
“As you can see the beautiful elkhorn in totally dead,” Arnold said. “Everywhere in the Caribbean if you are scuba diving it is grey. It is basically skeletal remains. A lot of the coral is dead. In fact, globally 40% of the coral is dead or on its way out.
There are many reasons for the dying coral depeding upon location, but Arnold says it is clear that an increase in carbon dioxide are taking their toll by making the ocean more acidic.
Is there there any chance the coral reefs could come back?
“Absolutely, but you are going to have to stop acidifying the ocean. You’re going to have to stop the heat shocks which kill the coral, you are going to have to stop overfishing and irresponsible coastal development,” he said.
Arnold is quick to point out he is a photographer and not a scientist.
He cannot verify the rate of acceleration of coral or ice decay. He feels his photographs prove that dramatic changes are occurring in climate.