Scientists create ‘umbrella’ spray to protect coral reefs from sun damage

March 27, 2018 by  
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Researchers have crafted a new liquid substance that can be sprayed onto the surface of the water above vulnerable coral reefs , shielding them from intense UV and visible light beaming down from the Sun . In doing so, the spray may help to defend reefs from extreme bleaching events. 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, the biodegradable spray is made from a natural lipid and calcium carbonate, a key component of coral reefs. “It is white so it reflects and scatters all the light which hits the ocean surface,” study researcher Andrew Negri told the Sydney Morning Herald . Laboratory tests revealed that the spray was capable of reducing the amount of light reaching underwater coral by 20 percent. “In the laboratory, it actually stays on the surface for several weeks, but in the ocean it could be broken up by wave action and moved around by the currents,” explained Negri. The spray will quickly biodegrade after it is broken up. Trials in a real-world environment will begin soon to refine the spray and make it more resilient to sometimes turbulent waters . Related: Spraying spiders with graphene helps them spin webs 6 times stronger than normal Conservationists are enthused about the idea of using the spray to protect acute vulnerabilities in coral reefs. “The idea being that you could in the future, knowing there is going to be hot days ahead… spray this film on top of key reefs… and this will act as a bit of a shield… almost like an umbrella, to protect these reefs underneath and the animals underneath,” Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden told the Sydney Morning Herald . “It’s important to note that this is not intended to be a solution that can be applied over the whole 348,000 square kilometres of Great Barrier Reef ,” Marsden noted. “That would never be practical, but it could be deployed on a smaller, local level to protect high value or high-risk areas of reef.” Via The Sydney Morning Herald Images via Depositphotos (2 , 3 )

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Scientists create ‘umbrella’ spray to protect coral reefs from sun damage

Researchers discover a completely new ocean zone swimming with new species

March 21, 2018 by  
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After six years of researching the uncharted depths of coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, scientists have discovered an entirely new ocean zone called the rariphotic zone. This column of water sits 130 to 490 feet below the sea surface, where it is too dark for photosynthesis, but above the dark fathoms of the aphotic zone . Even though photosynthetic reef building isn’t happening here, the newly-designated zone is anything but barren – read on for a first glimpse at the life below. Scientists found 4,436 individual fish around Curacao Island over 80 dives – and so far they’ve named 30 new species and identified six new genera of rariphotic specialists. There will be plenty more to come, as a fifth of the fish that the researchers saw have never been identified before. The research indicates that life can exist in depths far lower than we ever thought before. Related: Scientists discover a 600-mile-long coral reef in the most unlikely place “Reef ecosystems just below the mesophotic are globally underexplored, and the conventional view based on the few studies that mention them was that mesophotic ecosystems transition directly into those of the deep sea,” said Carole Baldwin , lead researcher and director of the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). “Our study reveals a previously unrecognized zone comprising reef vs. deep-sea fishes that links mesophotic and deep-sea ecosystems.” The research was published this week in the journal Nature . + Nature Via IFLScience Images via Nature

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Researchers discover a completely new ocean zone swimming with new species

The amount of plastic in the ocean could triple in 10 years

March 21, 2018 by  
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Plastic in the ocean could triple between 2015 and 2025, according to a new report for the United Kingdom government. The Foresight Future of the Sea report said the marine environment faces “unprecedented change as a result of direct human activity and climate change ,” and the authors are calling for further investigation. Professor Edward Hill of the UK National Oceanography Center told the BBC, “We really need a mission to planet ocean — it’s the last frontier.” Related: Shocking Caribbean photos reveal a “sea of plastic and Styrofoam” According to Hill, the ocean is “critical to our economic future. Nine billion people will be looking to the ocean for more food. Yet we know so little of what’s down there. We invest a lot of money and enthusiasm for missions to space — but there’s nothing living out there. The sea bed is teeming with life.” The report recommends reducing pollution by preventing plastic from entering the ocean, utilizing biodegradable plastic , or even creating public awareness campaigns for ocean protection. It also states that the ocean faces threats beyond simple plastic pollution. By 2100, the ocean could warm 1.2 to 3.2 degrees Celsius, depending on emissions — leading to coral bleaching and a slump for cold-water fish species. The report states that ocean warming “is likely to lead to new species in UK waters,” while marine biodiversity could take a hit from climate change and over-exploitation. However, the global ocean economy could double to $3 trillion by 2030, with opportunities like deep-sea mining and offshore renewable energy . The report’s authors recommend developing “accurate and useful valuations of the marine environment through the goods and services it provides (including food, capturing carbon , mitigating flooding , and supporting human health ) so that environmental externalities can be made clear and their value incorporated into decision making.” + Foresight Future of the Sea Via the BBC Images via Depositphotos and Ingrid Taylar on Flickr

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The amount of plastic in the ocean could triple in 10 years

Reef Arabia Plants 3D Printed Coral Reefs to Restore Persian Gulf Marine Life

October 22, 2013 by  
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Coral reefs only cover about 0.1 percent of the world’s ocean surface and they’re still disappearing at an alarming rate . These “rainforests of the sea” are already sensitive to water temperature, so it’s no surprise that pollution, over fishing, and global warming are dramatically reducing the world’s coral reef population . To help counter this, Reef Arabia introduced nearly 3,000 concrete Reef Balls near Bahrain to create new homes for the ocean life that call these underwater structures home. For their latest project to restore ocean life to its natural order, Reef Arabia sunk its first-ever 3D-printed reef . Read the rest of Reef Arabia Plants 3D Printed Coral Reefs to Restore Persian Gulf Marine Life Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printed coral reef , 3D printed Sandstone , 3D printing , 3D printing helping nature , australia , Bahrain , coral reef , coral reef destruction , fish , green technology , ocean life , oceans , persian gulf , Reef Arabia , reefs , replicate natural coral reef , Restoring Nature , sea life , Sustainable Oceans International , underwater rainforests        

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Reef Arabia Plants 3D Printed Coral Reefs to Restore Persian Gulf Marine Life

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