Many experts are currently trying to find a reliable solution to restore the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest marine ecosystem on Earth.
The bleaching event has affected around 93 percent of the Barrier Reef. This phenomenon occurs when the water temperatures rise by roughly two degrees and cause the reefs to turn white.
According to Mark Eakin, NOOA Coral Reef Watch Coordinator, the only way to tackle this devastating phenomenon is to deal with global warming. Also, there are other ways to address this issue, as scientists are trying to develop stress-resistant corals.
Coral biologist Ruth Gates believes that if she and her colleagues can find a way to breed these corals, the Great Barrier Reef can recover faster, while it will also be able to tolerate sudden changes in water temperature.
Should this project turn into a success, the stress-tolerant coral strain will be introduced into the reefs to restore marine life. Biologists will use the eggs and sperm of many healthy corals in order to develop millions of larvae, which will be used to boost the recovery of the Great Barrier Reef.
However, scientists still need to figure out a method to transplant coral micro fragments which will replace all damaged areas across the reef. This large ecosystem is home to countless species of marine mammals and fish which will find it hard to adapt in case the Great Barrier Reef would die.
Biologists underline that this project is just in the first phase and they have a long way to go until it can be directly applied to save the reefs. Apart from the Australian Reef, many other such ecosystems across the world have been affected by bleaching.
This phenomenon is caused by the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the air, meaning that human activities had a massive impact on the environment. Besides this, large commercial boats have destroyed large chunks of corals with their massive anchors.
Biologists will continue their investigation to find out other causes and to develop a broad array of methods to help the Great Barrier Reef recover at a faster rate. This is another problem because most experts underline that this ecosystem needs a lot of time to fully recover.
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