Scientists try ‘cloud brightening’ to protect Great Barrier Reef

Posted: April 17, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Clouds, geo-engineering, innovation, Ocean dynamics, research
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Great Barrier Reef, Australia [image credit: BBC]


Research continues, but what other ‘futuristic’ climate-related plans might they want to conjure up if this trial is deemed a success?
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An ambitious “cloud brightening” experiment has been carried out over Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in an early-stage trial that scientists hope could become a futuristic way to protect coral from global warming, says Phys.org.

In an attempt to cool waters around the reef by making clouds reflect more sunlight, researchers said they used a boat-mounted fan similar to a snow cannon to shoot salt crystals into the air.

Results from the trial were “really, really encouraging”, the project’s lead scientist Daniel Harrison from Southern Cross University said on Friday.

“All the research is theoretical… so this an absolute world first to go out and actually try and take seawater and turn it into these cloud condensation nuclei,” he told AFP.

Harrison stressed that despite the success of the experiment, at least four years of further research would be needed to prove the theory.

Warmer seas caused by climate change have damaged the health of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral system.

The experiment was carried out by the university and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science late last month, just before a comprehensive scientific survey found that the reef had suffered its most widespread coral bleaching on record.

Bleaching occurs when healthy corals become stressed by changes in ocean temperatures—causing them to expel algae, which drains them of their vibrant colours.

It was the third mass bleaching event in the past five years, raising fears that much of the reef’s coral could be permanently damaged.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. Jim says:

    Let’s see if I read this right. They suck up salt water, spray it into the air, and they see the reef dying, and blame nature for the dying section of the reef. I know my bulb is not the brightest, but, could there be another reason the rest of dying? Such as their interference.

  2. ivan says:

    It would help if some of these so called ‘researchers’ read Jennifer Marohasy’s blog before they spouted their whackey ideas.

    Of course it is going to take a large number of years for further research, after all we must keep the grant money rolling in.

  3. cognog2 says:

    Quite ivan. well said.
    A theoretical solution for a theoretical problem funded by an incestuous grant system. All right for some with the rest of us picking up the tab. Sensible people would have started by researching the problem first to determine its validity; as you rightly say.

    PS: I wonder whether they have factored in the carbon footprint of the boat and gear?

  4. Curious George says:

    The experiment was carried out in late March. Those really, really encouraging results are … what?

  5. Stephen Richards says:

    These are scientists. They are clowns.

  6. oldbrew says:

    early-stage trial

    CG – ask again in four years’ time.

  7. The supposed researchers flew over the reef in a plane. They should know the colour of coral can only be seen under water. The reef exposed by tidal movement (or falling water level) does not have colour so the claims of bleaching are false. As someone above says look at videos of proper reef research.

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    the reef’s been around some 500,000 years – ice ages, interglacials, etc. I think it’s going to survive just fine. Unless of course, these azzhats manage to initiate a ecological disaster that is.

  9. tom0mason says:

    Why do these scientist never think that coral bleaching is a natural event and (as other researcher have found) happens periodically.

    Next-up …
    “Lets genetically engineer really brightly colored algae to live with the coral to make the reefs even better”
    After all iridescent shocking pink with a more vibrant lime green edging next to the canary yellow, orange, and blue corals would such tourist draw …

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