The news that there is a new coral reef restoration technology in the works has people all a cheer. The thought of having a beautiful natural structure back on the earth is wonderful. But, you need to ask yourself if it will be effective. Restoration of the sea floor can be very complicated and not all boats are capable of sailing through it. Many other issues need to be resolved before this new coral reef system can be put into use.
If the reef was created with just the standard deep-sea trawls then it would take many years to restore it to its original state. The average depth of the sea takes about 700 meters or more. That means it would be taking several reef cities a few decades to bring the water back down to the same level as before the climate change. That means the deep-sea trawls won’t be able to save the coral reefs and the fish populations will start to die off.
That means it is going to have to come from the shore and that means bringing in all the world experts that have worked on previous restoration projects. If you are going to rely on a piece of equipment developed for other applications, then it is going to fail you miserably. It is doubtful if any of these new coral reef restoration technology plans will work. They don’t really seem to have the ability to withstand changing sea temperatures and storms. Not to mention the amount of energy that they would need to generate.
The good news is that a group of divers in Australia managed to get the first test run for one of these new coral reef prototypes. This was done back in 1998. It showed promising results, but the tests were repeated later that year and again in 2021. They also managed to get a small replica of a coral reef constructed by these researchers in Hawaii for another test campaign.
The team has now moved on to testing different technologies to deal with increased sea temperatures. The tests have revealed that it will be easier to restore the reefs to their former appearance if they can raise the water temperatures a few degrees. That means that the reef’s temperature needs to reach a certain level so that it can begin to recover. Once the temperature goes up to what the reefs were like before the global warming, there is still an issue that they need to deal with – the coral won’t be able to handle the sudden increase in temperature.
One problem they will need to overcome is the lack of technical data on what happens when the temperature rises to a certain point. When this happens the corals will die because of the sudden drop in their water temperature. They will not be able to survive the drastic rise in temperature that is required for them to regrow. However, they have some options for dealing with that.
The new technology aims to be able to help corals in the process of regrowing the lost nutrients from their tissues. These nutrients are needed for the growth of the corals. When the water reaches a certain temperature the corals’ cells will start to divide, and the extra growth of the corals will provide them with the extra nutrients they need to grow. The cells will also be able to reproduce faster than they could before the temperature rise.
Some coral reefs are not suitable for this new technology to work on. For example, Hawaii’s reef was devastated by Superstorm Charlie. However, this testing has not yet been completed in the area, and it is unclear as to how effective it would be in a real reef situation. It is possible that other areas may also be affected, although testing in the lab has only been done on laboratory coral reefs. Other nations have also expressed interest in using the technology, so it may spread to other areas if it proves successful.
Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.