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These researchers have found a way to save the Great Barrier Reef: a colossal project to brighten the clouds

The great coral barrier, one of the most important and largest living structures on the planet, is dying. It is something that we have known for a long time and the constant bleaching of the reefs is proof of this. The solution is simply to avoid climate change, although small fixes have also been tried, such as the robot that kills starfish. There is more.


Recent research published in Nature shows how we could extend the life (or slow the death) of the Great Barrier Reef for a few decades. To do this, the researchers resorted to a new way of keeping ocean temperatures lower and, consequently, improving the conditions of the coral ecosystem.

Bright clouds, brand new reefs

The project is run by the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences and Southern Cross University. The team of researchers tested a technology that manages to whiten the clouds over the oceans. After testing it off the northwest coast of Queensland, Australia, they say it may be a viable way to save corals.

But what exactly does it consist of? It involves using a huge tube to collect water from the sea and to spray it out again using a turbine. During this process they manage to “atomize” the water, or to disperse it enough so that the water particles are suspended in the air.

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Thanks to the 320 nozzles that the tube has, the water is divided into microscopic drops that spray the air and when it evaporates, it takes away the nanometric crystals of sea salt. These sea ​​salt crystals they are bright, thus making the clouds brighter or whiter when they rise to the atmosphere. These clouds they act as a kind of mirrorreflecting or deflecting sunlight more easily and thus keep surface waters at a lower temperature.

For the research, the team of scientists tested the technology and monitored how these microscopic particles behaved when sprayed into the air, as well as the temperature of the water afterwards. Yes OK it is a viable system and it really is not polluting by not using absolutely anything beyond ocean water, raises other questions related to geoengineering.

At 45 meters, this siphonophore is the longest creature in the world, far surpassing the blue whale.

The idea of ​​modifying the weather For our own benefit it is not something new, nor is it far-fetched. We have seen these projects on multiple occasions and it makes it possible to make rain in the Arab Emirates in the middle of the desert. In China in fact they even want to control the rain in the middle of the country by 2025. But this has consequences for the rest, the rain that is obtained in one place is taken away from another. The same goes for the bright clouds over the coral reef.

More information | Nature and Southern Cross University