Environmental Science

The Artificial Fog and Transgenic Coral: Last-Ditch Schemes to Save the Great Barrier Reef

The Artificial Fog and Transgenic Coral: Last-Ditch Schemes to Save the Great Barrier Reef

A list of 43 ideas for coral reef conservation has been released, many of which are frustrating long-shots, with Australia facing the loss of its most valuable asset, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Several trials have already begun in the hope of establishing which ideas can protect individual refs. Those who succeed will be evaluated for their efficiency in defending the Global Wonder 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) long. A few years after denying the dangers facing the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian government has announced an allocation of $ 500 million in 2018 to address the threat. The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRP) has considered 0 considered concepts, of which 43 have been declared to have sufficient potential for further investigation.

The hot summer is generally considered to be the biggest threat to Australian corals, leading to three massive bleaching incidents in the last five years. As a result, three concepts, including the most eye-catching concepts associated with lowering summer temperatures:

  • Sunlight returns to space by scattering seawater over the reef to use the presence of salt to increase the clouds.
  • Spread a molecular-thick layer of calcium carbonate on the sea surface to reduce sunlight by 20 percent.
  • Inducing fog over the target style through re-sprayed seawater.

Pumping cooler water from deep higher water has been rejected as unreasonable on the required scale, even for small high-priority reefs. The effectiveness of all of these remains untested. Indeed, RRAP Executive Committee Chair Dr. Paul Hardisty told the ABC: “We determined is that nothing is being done anywhere in the world at the scale we’re interested in.” Researchers at Southern Cross University, however, detected a fog 5 km (3 miles) away from the distribution system of the cloud brightening system in March and showed the drone working at the height of the cloud. They have not yet tested whether the system itself illuminates the clouds.

Other concepts involve making the coral easier to establish itself, including installing frames, making natural surfaces more stable, and adding chemical bonding agents. Some studies try to give coral breathing space by controlling natural enemies of corals in the form of predators and seawater. Selective breeding of hard coral species, especially from naturally warm watersheds, will probably make up a considerable part of the effort, despite the risk of reducing this diversity. The inclusion of gene variations for heat tolerance in coral DNA is also under consideration, despite the inevitable resistance to such a notion.

An 18-month study by 180 reef experts concluded that such an intervention would double the chances of the GBR surviving by 2050 in a healthy state, but only if the broad-based environmental change is successful. Hardisty argued on behalf of ABC that the effort was not an alternative to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but rather the need to address already baked warming. However, since the Australian government is committed to massively expanding fossil fuel production – some direct exports will be through reefs – projects can be judged more on appearance than on practical results.

So far, the university and the controversial Greater Barrier Reef Foundation have allocated another $150 million (US $95 million) for research over the next five years. Matching funds are being sought from the private sector. The cost of implementing those ideas that have proven to be sustainable will run into billions over the decades, making it cheaper than the $ 6.4 billion a year GBR provides for tourism and fishing alone.