Hosing down the Australian Great Barrier Reef

Date: 1/12/2006

Hosing down the Australian Great Barrier Reef to protect the corals from being damaged as a result of climate change. Speaking at the recent Ecotourism Australia Conference, Andrew Skeat, executive director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said the scientist’s proposal involves watering the ocean surface at peak heat times to avoid coral bleaching, which is caused by high water temperatures linked with global climate change, and when corals die leaving behind white limestone skeleton. Under the proposal, a fine spray of seawater will be pumped onto the reef cooling the corals. It has also been considered permanently placing sunshades over some areas of the reef. The sunshade, currently being developed in Queensland, would be held in place by floating pontoons. The UNESCO World Heritage listed reef, stretching over 345,000 sq kilometers (133,000 sq miles) is the world’s largest coral system.

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