In this May 2016 photo released by The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey, a boat sails near a coral reef that has been bleached white by heat stress in the Maldives.(The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey via AP)
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Coral reefs could start to dissolve before 2100 as man-made climate change drives acidification of the oceans, scientists said Thursday.Acidification will threaten sediments that are building blocks for reefs. Carbon dioxide, the main man-made greenhouse gas, forms a weak acid in water and threatens to dissolve the reef sediments, made from broken down bits of corals and other carbonate organisms that accumulate over thousands of years, it said.The sediments are 10 times more vulnerable to acidification than the tiny coral animals that also extract chemicals directly from the sea water to build stony skeletons that form reefs, the study said.
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