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Great Barrier Reef Update: Scientists Are Formulating Techniques On How To Restore The Reef

First Posted: Oct 31, 2016 05:10 AM EDT
University Of Miami Studies Climate Change Effects On Coral Reef
Chris Langdon, professor marine biology and ecology, uses a dropper to feed finger coral in a lab as he studies multiple climate stressors and how they will impact coral reef in the future at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

News regarding the death of the Great Barrier Reef is spreading globally. Now, the researchers are trying to study and figure out how to fix the problem that the reef is facing today.

Great Barrier reef has been victimized by coral bleaching. The effects of this are wide spreading as death by corals and the decreasing number of fish and marine life are affected.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Coral Reef Watch Coordinator Mark Eakin said that "Climate models suggest that most coral reefs may be seeing bleaching every other year by midcentury. How much worse that gets will depend on how we deal with global warming."

To fight off the damage, experts are researching and applying techniques to restore and protect the reef.  Ruth Gates a coral Biologist from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology on Oahu is looking for stress-tolerant corals and breeding them to create a strain of coral that can help sustain reefs in changing temperatures, according to Gloucester Times.

Different scientists are also focusing on several strategies. Thus,  some experts are introducing new coral to damaged reefs. Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, has been pioneering techniques for transplanting reef micro fragments. The main point of the transplant is to repair the damage to small sections of the reef, but the scientists are looking for more ways on how they can apply it to larger the larger parts of the reef.

Meanwhile, in a report by Greensburg Daily News, Marine scientist from Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, Peter Harrison is working to restore reefs in the Philippines impacted by dynamite fishing. He's using the sperm and eggs of healthy corals to create millions of larvae, which he then uses to flood the reefs and restore life to the area. This technique has shown promise, with some of the coral larvae reaching sexual maturity and growing to the size of dinner plates by the nine-month mark.

However, the spread of coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is unpredictable. The spread cannot be estimated, the only thing that scientists can do for now is to repair the damage. But the experts said that it will take a while to undo the damage.

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