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This Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) near Buck Island, US Virgin Islands, has died and collapsed. As coral reef structure degrades, valuable habitat for marine life is lost and nearby coastlines become more susceptible to storms, waves, and erosion. | Curt Storlazzi/USGS
Earth

Coastal Cities at Risk as Rising Seas Trigger Dropping Sea Floor and Dying Coral

A study of five marine ecosystems shows that as waters are rising, coral reefs are dying and sea floors are eroding, exacerbating erosion along the shore.

April 20, 2017
9:54 AM EDT