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Giant pumice stone could help heal Australia's Great Barrier Reef



  Giant pumice stone could help to heal Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Toby Hudson via Wikimedia Commons

Great Barrier Reef

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(CNN) – A Manhattan sized pumice raft drifts to Australia bringing with it new marine life that could help restore the Great Barrier. Reef corals, half of which have been killed in recent years as a result of climate change.

The massive, floating volcanic rock layer was first seen by seafarers on August 9, after it was assumed that an underwater volcano erupted near the volcano. According to NASA Earth Observatory on the Pacific Island of Tonga.

Days later, Australian sailors said they had encountered volcanic rocks on the ROAM catamaran consisting of pumice stones from marble to basket, so that water was not visible. "

ROAM crew Michael and Larissa Hoult told CNN they were at sea for 10 days before coming into contact with the gray floating matter one evening.

" It was pretty scary, actually, "Larissa said. The whole ocean was dull – we could not see the water reflection of the moon. "

" The rocks closed around us, so that we could not see our track or wake at all, could only see the edge where it was Normal water at night – shiny water, "Michael added, saying they could see the rock from every direction.

"It was a bit puzzling, we did not do it." I do not know how deep it was when we were driving over a volcano that was currently active. It almost looked like there would be more rising from below, "Larissa said.

The pumice filled with holes and cavities floats like an iceberg, with about 90% under water and 10% over water, that explains Couple.

It is expected that this pumice will drift with the current to the Australian coast in the next 7-10 months, saying where scientists believe they can have a positive influence on the microorganisms there.

Because the pumice stone finds its way to the Great Barrier Reef, the clinging marine life also wanders, possibly bringing with it various new colonies of barnacles, coral, and more.

In 2012 Queensland Research Professor Scott Bryan and other University of Technology researchers found after a similar volcanic underwater event that pumice rafts were an option t to redistribute life in the sea.

The outbreak of this month could have similar beneficial effects, Bryan said.

Bryan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday: "[The raft] is a natural mechanism for species to settle, replenish and grow in a new environment." This is just one way that nature can help promote regeneration. "Bryan also said the natural phenomenon occurs every five years.

He told ABC that the pumice raft, when it arrives on the Australian coast in the next seven to 12 months," is covered by a number of algae and living things "Barnacles and Coral and Crabs and Slugs and Worms."

"This is a way to quickly introduce healthy, young corals into the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

In 2016 and 2017, marine heatwaves caused by climate change resulted in mass bleaching, killing about half of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef and many more around the world.


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