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The Environment

According to a new study published July 4 in the journal Marine Ecology Progress, the distribution of living coral – the organisms responsible for reef formation – appears to be shifting to higher latitudes as temperatures rise in equatorial waters.

A multinational team of researchers led by Nichole Price of the University of Maine compiled a comprehensive database of reef studies reaching back to 1974. Based on the available data for sites as far north (and south) as 35 degrees of latitude, they determined that the number of young corals has fallen by 85 percent on tropical reefs and risen by about the same amount on subtropical reefs over the course of the past four decades.

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