To slow the rate at which higher temperatures and warmer waters are bleaching the Great Barrier Reef’s corals, scientists in Australia are spraying droplets of ocean water into the sky to create clouds that protect this environmental treasure. can do.
Researchers from the Cloud Brightening Project say they are using turbines Spray Microscopic particles of seawater to thicken existing clouds and reduce sunlight exposure in the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, located off the north-east coast of Australia.
what happens? The water droplets evaporate leaving only tiny salt crystals that float in the atmosphere, causing the water vapor to condense around them, forming clouds, explained Daniel Harrison, a researcher at Southern Cross University in Australia who led the project. are participating in. “If we do this for a few weeks to a few months, when the coral is exposed to ocean heat waves, the water temperature on the reef can start to drop,” he explained.
The project’s second test was conducted in March at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere and when the North East Reef in Australia has to deal with higher temperatures. At that time, atmospheric data was collected about when corals are most at risk for bleaching.
The combination of light and water heating has led to coral bleaching. By cutting reef light by 6% in the summer, says Daniel Harrison, “bleaching stress” could be reduced by 50% to 60% in this ecosystem.
However, the benefits of increasing cloud brightness may be less than expected over time, unless other measures slow the effects of climate change. “If we do something really coherent on climate change” [como a redução das emissões de gases com efeito de estufa], the models show that the increase in brightness in the clouds is enough to stop the decline in the rocks”, notes Daniel Harrison.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the country’s great natural attractions and has come close to being designated with “Dangerous” status by the United Nations. However, this did not happen because Lobbying to Australia.