A team of scientists produced a “sun shield” that has the purpose to reduce coral bleaching, the event which during 2016 and 2017 affected the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Australia, according to scientific sources.
The “sun shield” is bio and thinner than a human hair
The shield “is designed to sit on the surface of the water on the corals, instead of being directly on them, to provide a barrier against the sun,” said the Gran Barrier Reef Foundation’s representatives that collaborated with researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences.
The “sun shield” is a biodegradable film, 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, containing calcium carbonate, the same ingredient that coral polyps ejaculate in order to construct their skeleton, according to the Gran Barrier Reef Foundation statements.
The “sun shield” successfully reduced coral bleaching in small-scale experiments
“Scientists have tested the effectiveness of the film of the thickness of a molecule in seven different coral species in the simulation of the conditions of a bleaching case in the marine simulator of the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences,” said the managing director of the Foundation, Anna Marsden.
The project, funded by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, is in its initial stage and has been tested on a small scale in experiments that prove that this film reduces sunlight by 30% without causing any damage to corals.
“It is important to note that it is not intended to be a solution that applies to all of the 248,000 square kilometers of the Great Barrier Reef because it would never be practical. It is to deploy in a reduced and local way to protect the value of high-risk areas, “Mardsen said.
This “sun shield” project was designed to explore new ways to reduce the impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world.