Scientists are creating the first map of the world’s coral reefs

An ambitious project aims to map and monitor every reef on the planet.

In order to save our planet’s coral reefs from extinction, we need to know how they are doing. With an estimated 284,300 sq. km of coral reefs, it’s not a simple task.

The Allen Coral Atlas is an international initiative to map the world’s reefs in unprecedented detail with high-resolution satellite imagery. By the summer of 2021, the project aims to map every reef around the globe.

MORE:
Saving the world's coral reefs by speeding up evolution
Some corals are making new friends to survive warmer seas
Giving coral a hot bath may protect them from future climate change

In using this tool, scientists are able to see not only where coral reefs are located, but where they may be in trouble. As 132 satellites pass over reefs every day, scientists can pinpoint locations where action needs to be taken. Working with scientists in the water, they can work quickly to protect or restore coral that has experienced bleaching or die-off from warming ocean temperatures.

Watch the video above for the full story

Watch Reef Rescue on The Nature of Things.

Available on CBC Gem

Reef Rescue

Nature of Things