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Disrupted Ecosystems: Great Barrier Reef, Belize, 2006(View Actual Size)

Coral reefs here and around the world are dying due to rising ocean temperatures and other environmental stresses. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "mass coral bleaching events have increased in frequency and intensity since the first recorded event in 1982, resulting in significant coral mortality and other ecological, social and economic impacts in many reef ecosystems. These increases in coral bleaching over the past two decades have been attributed to ocean warming seen in tropical waters around the world. In 2005, Caribbean coral reefs experienced massive coral bleaching followed by coral disease outbreaks and high levels of coral mortality throughout the region. Photo Credit: Susannah Sayler / The Canary Project