Coral Reefs Hang On--In Spite of It All

It's not every day that coral reefs make headlines, so it was a surprise last week when they were in the news three times. Although most of the reports, published in the journal Science, were discouraging, there was at least some hope that the future of these fragile formations might not be as bleak as environmentalists fear.

The worst news came out of a joint U.S.-Australian study in which scientists announced that the world's coral reefs may have only a few decades to live. The two biggest threats are diseases, which hit harder when coral organisms are environmentally stressed, and bleaching--the...

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