Great Barrier Reef: Making clouds brighter could help to curb coral bleaching, scientists say

Marine scientists have upped the ante in their fight to save the Great Barrier Reef from the devastating effects of coral bleaching.

Key points:

  • Cloud brightening involves making larger and more reflective clouds over the ocean
  • The more reflective clouds help to cool the water underneath
  • Researcher Daniel Harrison says it should be a temporary, stop-gap measure only

A team of Australian researchers at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science is working on plans to alter the clouds above the reef in a bid to save the delicate coral communities below.

Marine cloud brightening is the process of making larger and more reflective clouds over the ocean to cool the water underneath.

It may seem far-fetched, but Daniel Harrison, a postdoctoral research associate with the Ocean Technology Group at the University of Sydney, believes it could work.

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