A thin film to save Great Barrier Reef


  • An ultra-fine biodegradable film some 50,000 times thinner than a human hair could be enlisted to protect the Great Barrier Reef from environmental degradation.

Other details:

  • The World Heritage-listed site is reeling from coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures.
  • Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Biology have been buoyed by test results of a floating “sun shield” made of calcium carbonate that has been shown to protect the reef from the effects of bleaching. “It’s designed to sit on the surface of the water above the corals, rather than directly on the corals, to provide an effective barrier against the sun.

Facts for Prelims:

  • Hard corals produce a rock-like skeleton made of the same material as classroom chalk — calcium carbonate.
  • Soft corals produce smaller amounts of calcium carbonate.


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