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Geoengineering Coral Reefs

Solar Radiation Management is a theory of approach towards stemming the effects of global warming, and its principle benefits are now the focus of a new paper published by the University of Exeter, with regard to coral reefs worldwide. Dr Paul Halloran, from the Geography department of the University of Exeter adds: “The study shows that the benefit of SRM over a conventional CO2 reduction scenario is dependent on the sensitivity of future thermal bleaching thresholds to changes in seawater acidity. This emphasizes the need to better characterize how warming and ocean acidification may interact to influence coral bleaching over the 21st century.” 150525120430_1_900x600Currently The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is considering and implementing many different approaches to reverse some of the effects of global warming. With this new study finding a more suitable approach towards coral reefs is possible as two hypothetical climate mitigation strategies were compared, and it was found corals have a much better chance of avoiding large-scale bleaching events under the SRM strategical approach. Professor Peter Cox, co-author of the research and from the University of Exeter states: “Coral reefs face a dire situation regardless of how intensively society decarbonizes the economy. In reality there is no direct choice between conventional mitigation and climate engineering but this study shows that we need to either accept that the loss of a large percentage of the world’s reefs is inevitable or start thinking beyond conventional mitigation of CO2 emissions.” Read more here!… More:

Bringing the Lab to the Reef

Technology is ever-present in the lab as well as the hobby of reef keeping but scientists from Europe are now going to be taking their instruments directly into the field, or reef I should say. To better understand coral metabolism and respiration researchers from Denmark will be deploying remote operated vehicles (ROV) and high-resolution cameras to help them deploy lab equipment and take measurements. “Traditionally the metabolism of cold-water reefs are typically investigated by collecting animals and analyzing them in a laboratory. Preferably, however, researchers would like to do the opposite, and bring the laboratory to the seabed, where the reef can be studied in its own environment. Since cold water reefs grow incredibly slowly — about 5 mm per year — and are fragile habitats, we were looking at novel techniques that could be used on a reef to asses metabolism with little impact on the reef structures,” says Dr. Lorenzo Rovelli, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), visiting researcher at the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE), Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark.150506111513_1_900x600 Employing a method termed ‘Aquatic Eddy Covariance’ the team will be able to simultaneously measure oxygen content and flow. “We are particularly interested in finding out how much carbon is being turned over by a reef — and by that I mean the whole reef community. The community consists of the corals, which are the engineers behind the reef structure, as well as all the other organisms that inhabit the reef: from large crabs to microscopic organisms. Currently, we still do not know if and to what extent such reefs are contributing to the global carbon budget.” Read more here!… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.