As you may have read before, coral reefs around the world have been dying over the past years. Corals are incredibly sensitive to erratic changes in the environment – inculcating higher ocean acidity and temperature. Coral reefs are known as “ocean jungles” – a deserved name seeing that they host 25% of all marine life. 

For this reason, numerous scientists are approaching technology in different ways to help conserve this important ecosystem. One approach focuses on speed breeding the next generation of super corals. Tests show that these corals exhibit higher resistance towards climate change and ocean acidification. This solution would bring a new generation of more resistant corals which would help mitigate the degradation of our coral reefs. 

Other attempts look at breeding whole new colonies within labs to be introduced in the ocean. Although quite complicated, researchers in Florida were able to crack the secret of coral breeding and were able to artificially induce the spawning of the endangered Atlantic coral species for the first time. 

The lab went to the extent of mimicking sunlight, lunar yearly cycles, and water temperature changes to follow the seasons with the aim to match identical conditions as in the ocean. With this finding, scientists hope to repopulate the Florida reef system – one of the largest in the world.

Another important approach to save the corals is to create precise mappings of the reefs for better visibility and data analysis. For this, the NASA CORAL project is using the same technology to map planets to create precise models of our coral reefs. With the data collected scientists can have a better look at the reef life in a matter of seconds – a process which before required divers to inspect whole areas manually.