The threat of mass bleaching: "IVF" plans to help Reef


THE Great Barrier Reef is facing a mass bleaching event from underwater heat waves when scientists work on "IVF corals" to help protect the magic of life.

As a wave of breaking waves breaking the Queensland coast, preliminary estimates show that Reef may be in hot water this summer.

Below rising sea temperatures, there is a 60 percent chance of coral bleaching in March, according to the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

But coral experts believe that it is still too early to predict mass bleaching again the third time that has never happened before on the iconic 2,250km Reef.

"We just waited and saw," Dr. David Wachenfeld, chief scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority, said.

"That is the initial model of NOAA, with a high degree of uncertainty, but the Bureau of Meteorology also estimates that 70 percent of El Nino is likely."

"We need more time to find out what might happen this summer."

Dr Wachenfeld praised the commencement of the annual mass coral spawning program last night as a positive sign of a healthy recovery from a resilient system.

Images provided from the largest coral reseeding project used as the Great Barrier Reef Spawns.

Images provided from the largest coral reseeding project used as the Great Barrier Reef Spawns.

"This is the biggest sex action on the planet, truly unbelievable, a spectacle of nature, and a very important time to revive coral reefs."

Scientists are harvesting millions of sperm and eggs from spawning – known as the largest sex event in the world – to build donor banks for "IVF corals" at Reef.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Harrison hopes to use collected coral larvae to regenerate damaged parts of the underwater treasure.

He believes that man-made coral fertility treatments can be a way to heal parts of the reef damaged by mass bleaching events.

"This is the first time that the entire process of maintenance and completion of large-scale larvae will be carried out directly on the coral reef of the Great Barrier Reef," said Professor Harrison.

"Our team will recover hundreds of square meters with the aim of reaching square kilometers in the future, a scale that was not tried before."

In waters off Cairns, large blinds of plastic mud supported under floating pontoons are used to scoop out milk films from corals that appear on the surface.

The global research team at Vlasoff and Arlington Reefs believes this ambitious project has the potential for large-scale coral reef recovery and recovery.


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