Though global warming has caused large amounts of stress to the Great Barrier Reef, scientists from the University of Melbourne and Australian Institute of Marine Science believe they have found a way to protect it.
The team has come up with a new “sun shield” that they believe could stop the sun’s rays from hitting the reef and keep it safe from the effects of global warming.
Past studies categorized the Great Barrier Reef — which is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world — as in a critical state. It is already on the brink of destruction, and will likely die out in the coming years if nothing is done.
The new sun shield hopes to solve this problem with a unique, film-like material that is 50,000 times thinner than human hair. The substance — created from biodegradable calcium carbonate — is designed to stop harmful UV rays from penetrating the reef.
Scientists from the Great Barrier Reef foundation officially announced the new project on March 27th, and early estimates show the shield can block up to 30 percent of sunlight.
While the shield is by no means a permanent solution, it could be useful as a way to protect and save critically endangered areas of the reef system. However, more studies need to be run before anything can be put into practice.
“The concept needs more work and testing before it gets to that stage, but it’s an exciting development at a time when we need to explore all possible options to ensure we have a Great Barrier Reef for future generations,” added Marsden, according to Tech Times.
Many studies have found that there is still time to save the Great Barrier Reef. Bleaching is much more common than it has ever been, but with enough efforts and new ideas, there is the hope for the colorful ecosystem yet.