El Niño typically brings warmer, drier atmospheric conditions and reduced cloud cover, which increase the risk of droughts, bushfires and coral bleaching.
#What is El Niño?
El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterised by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean.
During an El Niño event, the trade winds, which usually blow from east to west along the equator, weaken or reverse displacing warm waters eastwards that are typically confined to the western Pacific Ocean. This can greatly alter the atmosphere and have significant impacts on weather and climate around the world.
El Niño typically occurs every two to seven years, and can be relatively difficult to predict. El Niño means 'the little boy' in Spanish, first named in the 1600's by Spanish fishermen who noticed unusually warm waters around the end of December.
#How can we protect the Reef during marine heatwaves?
We're pioneering cutting-edge technology and delivering breakthroughs in marine and terrestrial restoration to help protect and restore coral reefs.
We're investigating a toolkit of solutions including:
Heat-tolerant corals that can better cope with higher water temperatures.
Freezing corals so we can grow corals outside of limited natural reproduction windows.
Cooling and shading corals to reduce heat and light stress.
Stabilising damaged reef surfaces where corals have turned into rubble.