14 October 2005

Envisat to help save coral reefs

Australian researchers have discovered that Envisat's MERIS sensor can detect coral bleaching as far as ten meters deep.

Using this tool, Envisat could assist in the monitoring of coral reefs worldwide on a twice-weekly basis. Aerial or boat-based observation is the current method of detecting bleaching...

"An increase in frequency of coral bleaching may be one of the first tangible environmental effects of global warming," states Dr. Arnold Dekker of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Wealth from Oceans Flagship program. "The concern is that coral reefs might pass a critical bleaching threshold beyond which they are unable to regenerate."

Aerial or boat-based observation are the current methods used to detect coral bleaching. "High-spatial resolution satellites can only do it on a few reefs due to cost and coverage constraints. We need a system that has appropriate coverage and revisit frequency, with a sufficient amount of spectral bands and sensitivity. There is no more suitable system than MERIS" Dekker added. For the complete story visit: Coral Reef Monitoring from Space

Source: www.divenews.com


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