Saving coral with cannons and bacteria

Scientists from around the world are working on plans to save coral.

Saving coral with cannons and bacteria

There is a post in Science about attempts to inject coral with probiotics. Cultured bacilli in particular alter the genetic makeup of corals. This makes it more tolerant of high temperature.

Another coral reef rescue project is taking place off the coast of Australia. A cannon on a ship sprays sea water into the air. The salt crystals in the water vapor block sunlight, thus ensuring less heating of the corals by sunlight.

impossible

The shotgun works well and the probiotics do their job, but Dr. Eric Mesters, a marine ecologist at WUR, isn’t excited.

According to him, the injection of bacteria into coral reefs thousands of kilometers away is practically impossible. Also, increasing the size of the cannon is impractical, Meesters said. It would take thousands of devices to create more than one point in the ocean. The instrument used in the tests would have to be a thousand times larger to have a real effect on temperature on the reef.

Mining

Meesters has a quick and practical solution: Australia must immediately stop mining, a sector so harmful to the Great Barrier Reef.

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