Artificial Fog and Transgenic Coral to Save the Great Barrier Reef

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A list of 43 ideas to save coral reefs has been released as Australia faces the loss of the Great Barrier Reef.

And many of these new ideas are just what we can call geoengineering.

geoengineering to save coral great barrier reef, We should use geoengineering techniques and genetic mutations to save the great barrier reef in Australia
We should use geoengineering techniques and genetic mutations to save the great barrier reef in Australia. Picture: SCU EDU

After years of denial of the dangers faced by the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian government announced in 2018 the allocation of $500 million to address the threats.

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) has considered 160 ideas, of which 43 have now been announced as having sufficient potential to justify further investigation.

Three of the ideas, including those that have attracted the most attention, involve reducing summer temperatures:

  • Spraying seawater above the reef to use the presence of salt to increase the sunlight clouds reflect back to space.
  • Inducing fogs over targeted reefs, again through spraying seawater.
  • Spreading a molecule-thick layer of calcium carbonate on the surface of the ocean to cut sunlight by 20 percent.

Yes, this is all geoengineering!

The insertion of gene variations for heat tolerance into coral DNA is also under consideration and could double the chances of the Great Barrier Reef to survive until 2050 in good condition.

Some trials have already begun in the hope of establishing which ideas can protect individual reefs.

But nothing has been or is being done anywhere in the world at the scale Australia interested in – namely 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) long. [SCU.EDU]

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