Aussie Scientists discover new way to save Great Barrier Reef

Highlights

  • In a significant development, Australian scientists have found an innovative way to slow the speed at which rising earth temperatures and warm waters result coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • To form clouds artificially, Australian scientists are sprinkling droplets of ocean water towards the sky for the protection of the environmental treasure.
  • Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s top tourist hotspots and is regarded as an endangered World Heritage Site by environmental activists. World Heritage Site by environmental activists.

Australian scientists have found a new and innovative way to slow the speed at which rising earth temperatures and warm waters result coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

In a makeshift approach, to form clouds, Australian scientists are sprinkling droplets of ocean water towards the sky for the protection of the environmental treasure. Researchers working on the Cloud Brightening project maintained that they use a turbine to scatter microscopic sea particles as this would thicken the clouds and reduce sunlight on the world's largest coral reef complex located off the coast of Queensland, Australia. A senior lecturer working on this project has reportedly revealed that these minute water droplets evaporate in this process, leaving just salt crystals that hover up into the atmosphere, thus leading to condensation of the water vapour to form clouds.

If this is done for an extended period, like a few weeks to a couple of months when the corals face a marine heatwave, it can reduce the water temperature over the Reef; the lecturer was further quoted as saying. The project had its second trial in March, at a time when corals off Australia's northeast are at the highest risk of bleaching.

The benefit of cloud brightening will not sustain for a long time unless other steps are taken to slow down the march of climate change.

One of Australia's top tourist attractions, the Reef, was on the verge of being listed as an endangered World Heritage Site by the United Nations; however, the designation was not allotted due to powerful lobbyist groups in the country.

Bottom Line

The rising global earth temperature poses a threat to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The recent development to form artificial clouds can be an important milestone; however, more efforts are to be put in place to conserve the world's largest living structure.

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