NASA is using its high-technology to understand what is happening with the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. They will take photos from 8.5 km up, using a specially equipped jet. It will help the researchers to build a map of the reef, without the air of water. This project will be the biggest one made regarding coral reefs.
The photos they took will be seen at NASA’s laboratory in California. This way scientists will find out how much of the Great Barrier Reef is covered by coral and how much is just algae. Eric Hochberg, from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, said that these images will help them understand why coral reefs are changing in a better way that they were able before. NASA made this decision after this year was the worst regarding coral reefs. The authorities said that almost 22 percent of it died due to climate change this year. As the temperatures are getting hotter, we are wondering what will happen in the future.
NASA’s project will last three years and it will cost 15 million dollars. They want to be sure that reefs are safe, so they have to know how they are working and what treats they can have. While the jet will take photos from above, there will be researchers who will go underwater to see what happens there. More than 200 scientists are involved in this project. The Great Barrier Reef is just the first one from the four places that will be surveyed by the team.
We are expecting good results, as each pixel on a map will represent eight meters by eight meters of the ocean. Moreover, researchers will be able to remove all things that are not involved with the reef, so it will be easier for them to study.
It seems that NASA is not interested on what happens in the space, but also on our planet. They will take data from space, land and sea to improve the knowledge about our planet. It will share its work with researchers to gain more information about how Earth is changing. The Great Barrier Reef from Australia is in danger reefs have died in the past three decades. This happened due to climate change and coastal development. NASA’s study could be the only hope we have for saving the coral reefs.
Image source: Pixabay