NEW YORK — The U.K. government has released a new study that finds it’s possible to reduce the risk of colon cancer by using the world’s largest oceanic waterway, the Great Barrier Reef, as a model.
The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Tuesday.
Scientists have been working to develop strategies to help countries protect the reef against invasive species such as blue crabs and yellow-green algae, and it has the potential to provide the best chance of protecting it from an onslaught of invasive species.
While there’s no definitive evidence that the reef will be immune to the spread of these organisms, the authors say it’s “critical that governments and public health agencies have the tools to better protect the environment and its natural inhabitants.”
The researchers found that using a large open-ocean body like the Great White is one way to reduce invasive species’ impact.
The researchers studied a “coastal-level model” in which the Great Whites’ coral reefs were exposed to blue crabs, which can kill coral by eating the tiny organisms that live on them.
In a climate that heats up quickly, the coral dies.
But when the corals are exposed to the heat of a super-hot day, they survive and thrive.
“We found that by moving the reef to a high temperature region and allowing the coral to remain at this high temperature, we could reduce the chance of coral dying as much as 75 percent,” lead author, Dr. Sarah Rauh, a marine ecologist at the University of New South Wales, said in a statement.
When the coralline algae bloom began to spread across the reef, scientists predicted that corals would die.
But the researchers found coral did not die and remained healthy and thriving.
This new study shows that a coastal-level climate change model is able to predict the health and resilience of coral in the Great Western, with the ability to reduce its risk of being destroyed by invasive species,” the researchers said.
The reef, which is home to about 90 percent of the worlds population of corals, is in danger of becoming one of the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change.
The ocean is warming, with ocean currents increasingly turning warmer, creating more intense storms and floods, and increasing the risks of ocean-related diseases like coral bleaching.
The Great Barrier has been losing its coral for years due to bleaching, which increases the amount of algae that can live on the coral.