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September 27 2012
The waters of Australia's Great Barrier Reef are getting warmer, satellite measurements show, which spells bad news for the myriad creatures that dwell in this rain forest of the ocean.
The satellite measurements of ocean temperatures show that the waters in the reef have warmed by 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) on average over the past 25 years. The change was even more pronounced in certain areas. For example, waters off the coast of Rockhampton, Australia, warmed by 0.9 F (0.5 C).
The warming increases the risk of coral bleaching, wherein the symbiotic organisms that allow coral to thrive are expelled.
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