Geoengineering of the climate may be the only way to save coral reefs from mass bleaching, according to new research.
Coral reefs are considered one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to future climate change due to rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, which is caused by higher atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
Mass coral bleaching, which can lead to coral mortality, is predicted to occur far more frequently over the coming decades, due to the stress exerted by higher seawater temperatures.
Scientists believe that, even under the most ambitious future CO2 reduction scenarios, widespread and severe coral bleaching and degradation will occur by the middle of this century.
The collaborative new research, which includes authors from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Exeter, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of Queensland, suggest that a geoengineering technique called Solar Radiation Management (SRM) reduces the risk of global severe bleaching.
The SRM method involves injecting gas into the stratosphere, forming microscopic particles which reflect some of the sun’s energy and so help limit rising sea surface temperatures.
The study compared a hypothetical SRM geoengineering scenario to the most aggressive future CO2 reduction strategy considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and found that coral reefs fared much better under geoengineering despite increasing ocean acidification.
The Latest on: Coral bleaching
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The Latest on: Coral bleaching
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- Reef Bleachingon March 16, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Scientists are warning that the Great Barrier Reef is in big trouble. They say ocean temperatures are unusually high and next few weeks could bring one of the worst coral bleaching events that the ...
- Great Barrier Reef: Cyclone Gretel has helped cool down water temperatures to prevent bleachingon March 15, 2020 at 9:00 pm
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says the cyclone could help chill water temperatures, by creating unsettled weather across the Reef, to prevent a mass coral bleaching event. Hard coral ...
- Great Barrier Reef bleaching concerns after hottest month of sea temperatures on recordon March 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm
A cyclone in the Coral Sea has helped to ease widespread coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, an expert said, after the marine park weathered its hottest month of sea temperatures on record.
- Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffers third bleaching event in 5 yearson March 12, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered widespread coral bleaching after sea temperatures reached record high levels last month, scientists say. How severe the event was will be known in a few ...
- The Great Barrier Reef Is About To Face Its Third Major Bleaching Event In Five Yearson March 10, 2020 at 1:15 pm
But as the devastation on land has slowed, now Australia’s marine ecosystems are facing a crisis as an update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch predicts the ...
- Heat accumulation on coral reefs mitigated by internal waveson March 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm
productive and economically valuable ecosystems on Earth but increasingly frequent pantropical coral bleaching events are threatening their persistence on a global scale. The 2015-2016 El Nino led to ...
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