Extreme measures to save corals at GBR

by TNP Editor 2021-4-30

SCIROUsing “cloud brightening” technology, controlling the spread of a predator starfish, and introducing heat-tolerant corals, scientists at CSIRO,¬†Australia’s national science agency, hope to slow the demise of corals at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

The cloud brightening technology is experimental; it is based on spraying salt crystals into the air above the GBR, making clouds more reflective of sunlight and thus cooling waters around the reef.

image0Scientists hope to tightly control the population of the predatory crown-of-thorn starfish, which feed on corals.

Likewise, by introducing different corals, scientists hope to maintain coral coverage with more hardy and heat-tolerant species.

The simulation work done by CSIRO suggests a reprieve of up to 20 years based on these combined interventions. A key assumption of the model is that global temperatures will not rise beyond 1.8 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, and the emission of greenhouse gases and other climate factors will need to be addressed.