Could ‘marine cloud brightening’ reduce coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef?

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Source: The post is based on the article “Could ‘marine cloud brightening’ reduce coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef?” published in The Hindu” on 19th October 2023 

What is the News?

Researchers in Australia are exploring the concept of “marine cloud brightening” as a potential solution to protect the Great Barrier Reef from heat-induced coral bleaching.

What is Marine cloud brightening?

Marine cloud brightening is a proposed technique to combat global warming. 

The idea is to make clouds over the ocean brighter so they reflect more sunlight back into space, which could help cool down the Earth.

British cloud physicist John Latham originally proposed cloud brightening in 1990.

How does Marine cloud brightening work?

Tiny particles like sea salt are sprayed into clouds over the ocean.These particles attract water vapor, forming small cloud droplets.

The increased number of droplets makes the clouds whiter, so they reflect more sunlight.

By reflecting more sunlight, less heat reaches the Earth’s surface.This could potentially lower the temperature of both the atmosphere and oceans.

How can Marine cloud brightening help corals?

Marine cloud brightening could help reflect sunlight back into space.This will help in cooling down the ocean surface.

This can in turn protect underwater life, including corals and may reduce coral bleaching.

The aim behind this method is to delay coral bleaching during marine heatwaves, potentially buying more time for the reef’s recovery.

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