Clouds may be the best help in fight against bleaching
CLOUD coverage can help protect coral in the Great Barrier Reef.
AmericanPhD student Susannah Leahy has been researching just how much cloud cover impacts what goes on under water.
“We have been looking at systems and temperature data and collecting data from all over the region for quite a while now and working with satellite data for the last two years,” she said.
“It helps us see reefs on a really local scale, just a few patchy clouds over a tiny reef and not over the neighbour reef 100m away could make a big difference as to whether or not you’re going to bleach or not.
“With that in mind they are designing really hi-tech models and zooming even closer to the reef to try and capture reef variations to help understand why it’s happening.”
The report has been focusing on cloud feedback mechanisms to help understand the full complexity of climate change.
Results from the report have indicated extensive low cloud cover reduces incoming solar radiation, which limits thermal stress on corals and can help reduce the chances of coral bleaching.
Other stresses that can be monitored and reduced include chemical, tourism and algae stress to help protect coral reefs early for long-term sustainability and conservation.
“Reef management is really complex trying to involve stakeholders and we want to give them enough information in time saying this reef is going to bleach, look after it and you need to protect it,” Ms Leahy said.
“The cure can be quiet fast if the reef is generally healthy, in a couple years reefs can look back to normal and if you treat them well they can bounce back quickly.”