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Australia | Record-hot December at Great Barrier Reef sets stage for new mass bleaching of corals

Temperatures over the Great Barrier Reef in December were the highest on record with “alarming” levels of heat that have put the ocean jewel on the verge of another mass bleaching of corals, according to analysis from US government scientists seen by Guardian Australia.

On Friday the Morrison government announced $1bn for reef conservation over the next nine years if it wins the next election – a pledge branded by some as a cynical attempt to stop the reef being placed on the world heritage “in danger” list at a meeting in July.

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