Sir David Attenborough is to end Blue Planet II with a stark warning on coral reefs which he says are in danger of disappearing altogether from the Earth within 80 years because of environmental pollution.
The naturalist will use next Sunday’s final episode to warn that carbon dioxide emissions are making the oceans increasingly acidic, spelling disaster for the delicate eco-system of the world’s reefs.
Increasing acidity means that coral and seashells are dissolving faster than sea creatures can rebuild them he will say in remarks which the BBC is understood to have rigorously fact-checked. If the present situation continues, he maintains, the world’s coral could disappear by 2100.
His stark warning in the final, seventh episode of the acclaimed series also includes the claim that the cause of this “is manmade, beyond question”.
Attenborough has already referenced the threat to coral reefs in a previous episode of Blue Planet II. But, as has become traditional with his recent landmark BBC series, the final episode is more pointedly stark in its warnings.
Coral reefs are particularly close to Attenborough’s heart.
Two years ago he fulfilled a lifetime ambition of visiting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in a submersible for a BBC1 special.