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Warm Oceans Threaten Caribbean Coral Reefs

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'Bleaching' may kill up to 90% of the colorful undersea polyp colonies in some areas...The extremely warm ocean waters fueling this season's record hurricane season are stressing coral reefs throughout the Caribbean and may kill 80% to 90% of the structures in some areas...The current warming in the Caribbean may be partly because of global warming, but scientists attribute most of it to a natural cycle of alternating warmer and cooler water that changes every few decades...Yet corals...face the multitude of human-induced problems such as dynamiting reefs as a fishing technique, coastal development and increased use of fertilizers that run off from farms. Now...corals also face global warming that will amplify problems brought on by natural warming cycles in the ocean..."And corals are experiencing stresses that are probably unprecedented in recent millennia."

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