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Great Barrier Reef Refugium

Harness the technology of the living room aquarium for reef protection
  [vote for,

The Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia is a true natural wonder. The structure is composed of 1400 miles of small islands and associated shallows formed of an old uplift mountain range.

The reef, as popularly understood, is an assortment of pleasant coral species wafting in the current tended by colorful friendly fish in a harmonious exhibit of the natural world that has existed forever. More accurately the reef is about as old as the pyramids and formed as the sea level dramatically rose at the end of the last ice ace. Corals desperately grew upwards on the skeletons of their dead ancestors to maintain the correct depth until the sea stabilized at its current level. The reef, however, is not safe.

As part of an ongoing commitment to hysteria, news outlets publish articles on the downfall of the reef. Evidence includes coral bleaching events, where stretches of coral turn white. Not some chemical event as suggested by the name, but rather the animal ejecting the photosynthetic symbiote they typically host. This is a valid marker of stress that can be temporary or permanent.

Obviously, man-made climate change causes coral anguish and the Australian ecosystem must suffer, to the eternal shame of global humanity. So what's to be done?

Well, since I'm thinking about setting up my own mini coral reef, as an exercise, I had a quick look at the data from the Australian Institute of Marine sciences <link>. Some admittedly quick stats revealed a very poor correlation between years of observed bleaching (1998,2002,2006,2016 & 2017) and either peak temp or moving average* temp.

So, I ask my friend who runs a very large public aquarium in the middle east and looked after a few 100km of the Thai reefs after the tsunami "don't worry about a degree here or there mate, messed up nitrogen and phosphorous are where it all goes wrong, refugium with chaeto is your friend there".

Further research suggests that indeed, lots of nitrate/phosphate run-off from agriculture is a major concern. Sadly, that's downplayed because solving it upsets farmers and costs money. So, let's use the aquarium solution: Chaetomorphia.

This green weed-like macroalgae grows in practically any conditions where light and seawater coexist. Its growth is limited by nitrate and phosphate concentrations so where they are abundant it grows rapidly, sucking up the nutrients. So, construct a series of floating corrals anchored between australia and the reef, concentrating on river/stream outlets. Pop in some chaeto, wait, come back and harvest tonnes of the stuff, wash, sell to farmers as fertilizer.

*moving average is used a lot in this kind of data, but it's oscillatory (Day-night superimposed on summer-winter) so something like a Savitzky-Golay would be better, but who am I.

bs0u0155, Feb 12 2020

AIMS Sea Temps http://data.aims.go...aLevel=1&wind=false
[bs0u0155, Feb 12 2020]

Chaetomorphia https://www.algaeba...-alga-chaetomorpha/
[bs0u0155, Feb 12 2020]


       Aquaria ...   

       <Struggles to suppress anti-aquarist rant/>   


       Have you seen that TV show about a particularly violent and sadistic murder called "Aquaria and the people that love them too much" ...?
8th of 7, Feb 12 2020

       //a series of floating corrals//   

       Meanwhile, elsewhere, "Gunfight at the OK Coral".   

       Surplus "r"s from the American Mid-West (and also the South- West of England, home of talking like a pirate) are washed downstream during heavy rains, and accrue to reefs in distant oceans, where they transform the formerly OK natural corals into facilities for rounding up livestock.
pertinax, Feb 13 2020

       I like the idea of calmly selling pollutants back to polluters. [+]
pertinax, Feb 13 2020

       // Meanwhile, elsewhere, "Gunfight at the OK Coral". //   

       ... and the famous 1940's musical drama "The Battle of the Choral Sea" ...
8th of 7, Feb 13 2020


       Marketing would like to know, is that homophonous with "keto"? If so, that might make it easier to sell - "Chaetosis solves everything, once again!"
pertinax, Feb 17 2020

       I've heard it said "kay-to" & "chay-to". Ultimately it's almost entirely carbohydrates, so I can't see the marketing people getting much milage out of that. Maybe they could try "a naturally low fat food"
bs0u0155, Feb 17 2020

       // "Chaetosis solves everything, once again!" //   


       "Neeu neeu, Chato, not now !"   

       <THUMP, CRASH/>   

8th of 7, Feb 17 2020


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