Oftentimes, the simpler solutions are the most effective, like the idea presented by a recent research on coral reef protection published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal. The research proposed blowing tiny bubbles through seawater in the coral reef areas can help save them.
Coral reefs around the world are slowly dying due to coral bleaching, caused by high exposure to UV rays from the sun, temperature rise and acidity of seawater. The study suggests that blowing bubbles through air pumps could help protect the coral reefs by reintroducing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the water.
Carbon dioxide can make water more acidic. With bubble blowing, the acidity of the salt water is effectively reduced by freeing the dissolved carbon dioxide.
The study, titled "Bubble Stripping as a Tool To Reduce High Dissolved CO2 in Coastal Marine Ecosystems," said the concentrations of carbon dioxide found in coastal ecosystems are by human-induced eutrophication. This leads to the high acidity level of water that is well beyond the tolerance of the organisms.
Co-author and earth science professor Rob Dunbar said that the "bubble pulse method" can help us bring the reefs to conditions 100 years ago, and even to the environment that they have "adapted for many thousands of years."
The study proposes the carbon dioxide bubble stripping approach in shallow water.
According to a news report, it is estimated that around 30 to 60 percent of the global coral reefs have died since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s. When coral reefs die, other organisms that are dependent on them for protection, food and habitat are also killed.
Aside from serious environmental impacts, the death of the coral reefs also has economic repercussions. It is estimated that around $30 billion worth of economic benefit is provided by coral reefs in terms of fish catch and other resources.
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