Pokemon have been affected by climate change in Sword and Shield

The impact of climate change is everywhere.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read

The original Corsola on the left and its new version on the right.

The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Sword and Shield came out on the Nintendo Switch this month and some of the newest Pokemon are closer to real-life than ever. Yamper looks like a well-groomed puppy, Mudbray is basically a donkey, and the best of them all -- Polteageist -- is a literal teapot.

But Pokemon is also covering heavier territory with Corsola, a coral Pokemon first introduced in the Gold and Silver games. It used to look like a happy pink piece of coral, but in Shield's Galar region, it's a pale, translucent ghost.


Cursola, Corsola's evolved form.

The Pokemon Company

It also has a new evolution: Cursola, which looks like a skeletal tree of white coral.

According to ComicBook, the Pokedex entry for the Galarian Corsola says that it was wiped out by sudden climate change . It's now a ghost that sucks the life-force out of whoever touches it.

Corsola's journey from rock/water-type to ghost-type is a sad statement. The Pokemon evokes bleached coral, the same as the coral dying in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef has been drained of color and life over the past few years due to climate change. Carbon pollution has led to rising sea temperatures, which caused bleaching events in the reef in 2016 and 2017.

Coral bleaching occurs when algae that lives in coral tissues is stressed by warm waters. The algae provides food and color for the coral. When it's stressed, the algae departs, leaving the coral colorless and susceptible to disease.

The severe bleaching events that hit the Great Barrier Reef are estimated to have killed half its shallow water corals.

Experts say that to protect coral reefs across the world, action must be taken to reduce carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy.

You can find Corsola in Pokemon Shield in the Giant's Mirror area of the Wild Area.

15 creatures that could disappear with Great Barrier Reef

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Watch this: Here's how scientists want to rescue the Great Barrier Reef