A diver near Australia's Orpheus Island surveys bleached Great Barrier Reef coral in March 2017. Greg Torda/ACR Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies hide caption

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Greg Torda/ACR Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Graveyard of Staghorn coral, Yonge reef, Northern Great Barrier Reef, October 2016. Greg Torda /ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies hide caption

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Greg Torda /ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia, in August 2009. Scientists say they have discovered a second, enormous reef in the deeper water behind the Great Barrier Reef. Phil Walter/Getty Images hide caption

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Phil Walter/Getty Images

A marine biologist is engulfed by a school of barracuda and jacks as she conducts reef surveys in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Tane Sinclair-Taylor/Nature Publishing Group hide caption

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Tane Sinclair-Taylor/Nature Publishing Group

This undated picture of bleached coral (lower right) on part of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia was taken by Prof. Terry Hughes during an aerial survey of the reef. Terry Hughes/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies hide caption

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Terry Hughes/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Staghorn coral planted by scientists in the Florida Keys. Researchers hope to give the same sort of boost to the world's shrinking population of pillar coral, now that they can raise the creatures in a laboratory. Joe Berg/Way Down Video/Mote hide caption

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Joe Berg/Way Down Video/Mote

Scientists Catch Up On The Sex Life Of Coral To Help Reefs Survive

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These scuba divers are among the 2 million tourists who visit the Great Barrier Reef each year. They contribute about $5.6 billion to Australia's economy, according to the Queensland government. Steve Dorsey for NPR hide caption

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Steve Dorsey for NPR

As Great Barrier Reef Ails, Australia Scrambles To Save It

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A tasseled wobbegong shark (top) lies on the seafloor with the head of a brown-banded bamboo shark in its mouth on the fringing reef of Great Keppel Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef in August 2011. Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Reuters/Landov