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Some corals like it hot

Western Australian reefs faring better than eastern counterparts

By
2:33pm, February 2, 2012

Corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have fallen on hard times recently. But on the opposite side of the continent, their West Coast brethren have been living the good life for at least a century, a new study finds.

Global warming may be helping these creatures out — at least for now. “To date, it is the changes in temperature that are having the dominant impact on coral growth,” says Timothy Cooper, a marine biologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Crawley.

To compare how reefs in different places have been doing, Cooper and colleagues collected samples of Porites coral at six spots off Australia in the southeastern Indi

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