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Global Warming Surge May Rout Great Barrier Reef's Natural Defenses

A heat surge from global warming would overwhelm the natural ability of coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to survive seasonal temperature changes, in much the way sunbathers would burn if they did not build their tan slowly. A study released Thursday examined 27 years of temperature data along the world's biggest reef. It found that corals were able to cope with gains in water temperatures when the heat built up step-by-step, rather than abruptly. In three-quarters of 372...

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