Researchers want to brighten the clouds over the Great Barrier Reef during heatwaves. Peter Adams / Avalon / Universal Images Group via Getty Images Australian scientists are trialing a unique strategy to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the climate crisis : altering clouds to keep it cool during marine heatwaves. The idea behind the ‘ Marine Cloud Brightening for the Great Barrier Reef ‘ project is to reduce the risk of coral bleaching in the short term while global greenhouse gas emissions are cut and temperatures stabilized. “If we do it over an extended period of time for a few weeks to a couple of months when the corals are experiencing a marine heatwave we can actually start to lower the water temperature over the Reef,” project director Dr. Daniel Harrison told Reuters Tuesday . Coral bleaching is currently the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, the project website explained . It occurs when water temperatures rise past what the corals have adapted to. This causes the corals to expel the algae that provide them with food and color, weakening the corals and potentially killing them. During back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, two-thirds of the […]

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