Great Barrier Reef
Why in news? Scientists working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have successfully trialled a new method for freezing and storing coral larvae could eventually help to rewild reefs threatened by climate change.
- Scientists are scrambling to protect coral reefs as rising ocean temperatures destabilise delicate ecosystems.
- The Great Barrier Reef has suffered four bleaching events in the last seven years and first ever bleach during a La Nina phenomenon, that typically brings cooler temperatures.
- New technology will allow to do that at a scale that can actually help to support some of the aquaculture and restoration interventions
About the Technology
- Cryogenically frozen coral can be stored and later reintroduced to the wild but the current process requires sophisticated equipment including lasers.
- New lightweight “cryomesh” can be manufactured cheaply and better preserves coral
- The cryomesh was previously trialled on smaller and larger varieties of Hawaiian corals.
- The mesh technology, will help store coral larvae at -196C was devised by a team from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering
Great Barrier Reef
- It is the world’s largest coral reef system
- Location: Off the east coast of the Queensland mainland, Australia
- Reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
- A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, helps to limit the impact of human use,
- Environmental pressures : Runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching
- It is long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Geology and geography: It is a distinct feature of the East Australian Cordillera division.
- It reaches from Torres Strait in the north to the unnamed passage between Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island in the south
- It includes the smaller Murray Islands.