El Niño is looking very likely to bring droughts and heavy rains this summer, but researchers at the Great Barrier Reef are worrying about a different facet of the phenomenon: Coral bleaching. Current conditions signal that it could be a bad year for the reef.
The last paragraph of the Guardian article is where hope lives:
"A stronger than normal El Niño event has been predicted, which is worthy of concern. But we should be focusing on things like pollution and overfishing, things we can control. If we can improve the water quality, it will buy us some time."
It's totally possible for consumers (such as those who read io9 articles) to make consumer choices which reduce carbon pollution, ocean pollution, and overfishing.