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Underwater speakers can revive coral reefs wrecked by climate change

12/02/2019 11:56 am ET Sunny Hundal
Scientists are using underwater speakers to revive coral reefs wrecked by climate change

Screenshot / YouTube

Worsening human-caused global warming is wreaking havoc on underwater coral reefs around the world.

In Australia in particular, where the Great Barrier Reef remains a popular tourist spot, the bleaching of the corals has put the entire reef in serious danger.

But scientists have found that underwater speakers might help revive these shallow-water graveyards.

A new study published by Nature says:

Using a six-week field experiment, we demonstrate that playback of healthy reef sound can increase fish settlement and retention to degraded habitat.

We compare fish community development on acoustically enriched coral-rubble patch reefs with acoustically unmanipulated controls. Acoustic enrichment enhances fish community development across all major trophic guilds, with a doubling in overall abundance and 50% greater species richness.

In other words, playing sounds from a vibrant living reef could entice back fish to a dying reef.

But the scientists stress that this must be accompanied by active habitat restoration and effective conservation measures.

In other words, we also need to reverse the harmful effects of climate change–and slash carbon pollution so the warming doesn’t get so bad nothing can restore the corals.

But on the plus side, recovery may be faster than many think.

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