An unidentified woman snorkels on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s Queensland state.
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Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world's largest coral bank, is at greater risk than previously thought of dissolving as climate change renders the oceans more acidic, researchers said Tuesday.For the study published in Nature Communications, scientists from Australia and Saudi Arabia created a new model for estimating the level of aragonite saturation – an indicator of future coral deposits – at more than 3,000 separate reefs within the larger GBR.Physical measurement of aragonite at each individual reef on the 2,300-kilometer (1,400-mile) structure is an impossible feat. According to the IPCC, higher CO2 levels have caused the world's oceans to become about 26 percent more acidic since the onset of the Industrial Age, and may have already doomed coral reefs to extinction.
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