AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF COULD BE PROTECTED!

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By blocking up to 30 percent of sunlight ultra-thin film can decrease coral bleaching and this is proved in trials.

Do you know on Earth almost every coral reef is under the influence of climate change? coral reefs continue to deteriorate as the temperatures at world oceans increase. Heat up means coral reefs suffer bleaching. To conserve marine species and to maintain tourism which is a source of income for many people, Protecting coral reefs is crucial.

The situation is apparent and you can predict it. A large portion of Great Barrier Reef have been destroyed as a result of severe bleaching. Those damaged Reef is an important for millions of tourists each year.

To save this diverse ecosystem, over the years, a number of techniques are suggested. Unfortunately, no signs of recovery seen despite ongoing efforsts. Australian Institute of Marine Biology researchers come up with an interesting idea. According to researchers an ultra-thin “sun shield” can protect corals from the effects of sunlight. It can be placed on the water surface over the Great Barrier Reef. Made of calcuim carbonate, this shield is 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. 30 percent of sunlight could be blocked out according to the result of the trial.

Anna Marsden,Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director, said “It’s designed to sit on the surface of the water above the corals, rather than directly on the corals, to provide an effective barrier against the sun,”

“It (the project) created an opportunity to test the idea that by reducing the amount of sunlight from reaching the corals in the first place, we can prevent them from becoming stressed which leads to bleaching.”

They turn completely white, when corals bleach. Thus, they lose the symbiotic algae living in their tissue. Reefs are resistent against a bleaching but this harsh events make them more susceptible for further damage.

In recent years, the ultra-thin sun shield can help restore Great Barrier Reef which is already hit by many bleaching events. But also scientists assume that this is not intended to be a solution that can be applied over the whole 348,000 square kilometers of Great Barrier Reef.

“It could be deployed on a smaller, local level to protect high-value or high-risk areas of reef,” said Marsden. The concept needs more work and testing before it gets to that stage, but it’s an exciting development at a time when we need to explore all possible options to ensure we have a Great Barrier Reef for future generations.”

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