June 16, 2016

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed $750 million to stem a mass coral die-off in the Great Barrier Reef after more than a third of coral died in some areas. Here, three things that could help save the reef:

1 SLOWER WARMING

The warming climate played a key role in the reef’s most recent die-off, causing coral to expel the organisms that give them their color. Scientists say much of the world’s coral will die if temperature rises continue unabated.

2 LESS POLLUTION

Water pollutants such as sewage and sediment agitate coral and make them more likely to catch the diseases that ultimately kill them. Unlike stopping global warming, pollution can be addressed by local authorities.

3 ‘SUPERCORAL’

Scientists are experimenting with methods to genetically engineer coral to withstand high temperatures. The method could be game-changing, but many experts are skeptical it could be deployed widely.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

This appears in the June 27, 2016 issue of TIME.

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