Scientists from the University of Melbourne and the Australian Institute of Marine Science have developed a prototype film that could protect Australia’s fragile Great Barrier Reef. This thin film would sit on top of the ocean to protect the coral below from the sun. Lab tests have shown that this film blocks up to 30% of sunlight passing through, though it hasn’t yet been tested on a large scale above the reef. Warming temperatures and water pollution have been killing off the algae living in coral, causing them to “bleach”. This bleaching process is made more dire by continued sunlight. This film would protect the coral and potentially reverse the bleaching process, if it proves to be successful.
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