A tourist boat floats above an area called the 'Coral Gardens' located off Lady Elliot Island and north-east from the town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, in this June 11, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/David Gray/Files
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Parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef face permanent destruction if the current El Nino, one of the strongest in two decades, does not ease this month, scientists said Wednesday.The El Nino is a result of a warming of the ocean in the western Pacific -- ideal conditions for coral bleaching, where coral expels living algae, causing it to calcify. The scientists said areas of the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage site, are experiencing the worst bleaching in 15 years.Scientists said the Great Barrier Reef needs a break in El Nino conditions within weeks if some coral areas are to survive.
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