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The Allen Coral Atlas is building out a database—fed with satellite imagery—that can detect changes in coral reefs and hopefully help us better manage this dwindling natural resource.


Off the east coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef stretches for 1,400 miles. It’s the largest coral reef in the world and long formed the backbone to one of the most complex and diverse natural ecosystems on the plant. But since 2016, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. An oceanic heat wave in 2016 killed the algae that live in the coral and provide its nutrients, leaving behind starved coral that to the human eye was bleached, totally drained of color.

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