See stunning before and after shots of coral reefs as ocean temps rose by only 2 degrees.

This is what it looks like when a piece of coral dies.

GIF via Netflix/Exposure Labs/YouTube, from the film "Chasing Coral."

This is a phenomenon known as coral bleaching, now captured in the award-winning documentary "Chasing Coral." To get these impressive shots, a team of photographers, divers, and scientists traveled the world to capture time-lapse photographs of coral bleaching events.


"The beauty with time-lapse photography is that you have the ability to shift how we as humans see and perceive changes that may move in the slow lane," says photographer Zack Rago.

Getting these images was a challenge. Divers had to spend hours each day battling the currents. And it could be emotionally difficult too.

"Being the person on the ground experiencing those changes is certainly emotionally taxing. I have a deep connection to coral reef ecosystems. Spending as much time as I have documenting their death is something that fills me with guilt and shame to this day," explains Rago. "At the same time, I also cherish those dives because I know that our team has revealed this issue to the world in meaningful and powerful way."

When asked if there was any single dive that was especially hard, Rago says yes. "There is one dive that was particularly difficult. In the hours leading up to the dive, I actually watched the first edit of our time-lapses. Seeing the images from day one and immediately going back out to those dying reefs was the single most emotionally challenging dive I’ll likely ever do."

Coral bleaching happens when the water around a reef becomes too warm.

During a bleaching event, the coral polyps (tiny creatures that actually make the reef) are effectively cooked, slowly turning white before dying. It doesn't take much, the episodes captured in Chasing Coral were the result of only a two-degree rise in water temperature, according to The New York Times.

Once the coral is dead, brown, sludgy algae take over, turning the once vibrant reef into something that looks like a parking lot.

GIF via Netflix/Exposure Labs/YouTube, from the film "Chasing Coral."

This deadly warming is fueled by climate change, as more than 90% of the excess heat in our atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean.

"Coral reefs are in trouble. We know that if current trends prevail, we will lose the majority of corals on the planet in the coming decades," says Rago. Scientists have warned that, given current trends, we could lose most corals within 30 years. Vast swaths of the Great Barrier Reef (where these photos were taken) may already be past the point of no return.

Rago is planning to head back to the Great Barrier Reef this November to help identify "super corals" that could help scientists breed heat-resistant reefs.

As climate change becomes the new norm, it can be difficult to remember how the world once looked.

"We need to protect what we can right now," says Rago.

There are already a lot of exciting efforts underway. Nations around the world are currently rallying around stopping or mollifying the effects of climate change, with 169 different countries joining in on the landmark Paris 2015 climate agreement.

As they work out the best way to stop this, photography like these amazing time-lapse images can be a touch point for us — something to stick in our minds. And, if we fail, they can be a record for future generations.

"This problem may be hidden in our ocean, but the solutions start with us," Rago says. By sharing these images, people can help inspire friends, family members, or business or political leaders to action.

"Chasing Coral" premiered on Netflix in July 2017 and is still available to watch as of this writing.

If you want to see more, you can watch this three-minute video, including some of the time-lapse images, below:

Time-lapse video captures a disturbing phenomenon known as cor...

These before-and-after images remind us of what's really at stake in the climate conversations at #COP23. (via Chasing Coral)

Posted by Upworthy on Friday, November 10, 2017

The team was also able to capture a weird, rare event known as coral fluorescence, which is well worth a watch. If you'd like to find out more about the film, you can visit their website.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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