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The winners of the Ocean Awards 2018

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Judges’ Special Award: Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

One of the foremost experts on how global warming is threatening the world’s oceans

More than two decades ago Ove Hoegh-Guldberg was one of the first scientists to warn that coral bleaching was a sign of climate change and global warming. No surprise then that he appears in and was the chief scientific adviser for the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral, winner of the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Festival.

The film warns that a temperature increase of just two degrees Celsius is sufficient to put marine life into a state akin to “living with a constant fever”, hence the death of more than half the world’s corals in the past three decades. A professor of marine science at the University of Queensland, Hoegh-Guldberg is also the inaugural director of its Global Change Institute, which describes itself as “an independent source of innovative research, ideas, policy and advice for addressing the challenges of a changing world”. As one of the foremost experts on how global warming is threatening the world’s oceans, he was lead author of the chapter on the ocean in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, and has advised organisations as diverse as the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the World Bank and the Royal Society in London.

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