The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, has already lost about 50% of its coral cover as a result of climate change. There are estimates that it could all be gone by 2050 unless major action is taken.
The world’s largest coral reef ecosystem is made up of nearly 3,000 individual reefs, and is some 2,300 kilometres long. It is home to 400 different types of coral and more than 1,500 species of fish.
In recent years, it has experienced severe cyclone damage and coral bleaching, as the rising temperature of the water causes corals to expel the algae living in their tissues, not only making them turn white but depriving themselves of their source of food.
Reefs provide an essential ecosystem for a quarter of all marine life. Without reefs, billions of marine creatures would suffer, millions of people would lose their most significant food source, and many would lose their jobs.
Click on the video above to see how two Australian universities paired technology with nature to help regenerate coral reefs.
Video:QUT, Great Barrier Reef Foundation & Southern Cross University