Scientists are hoping La Niña conditions might yet stave off threat from predicted heat accumulation in northern and central reef

Corals across large parts of the Great Barrier Reef could be hit by mass bleaching for the fourth time in just seven years by the end of January, according to a forecast from a United States government agency.

Reef scientists are hoping that favourable weather, including cloud cover and rain or a cyclone, could yet cool corals and stave off the threat.

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