EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Marine cloud brightening, could it mitigate coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef?

Daniel Harrison
Daniel Harrison
  • Southern Cross University, National Marine Science Centre, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Australia (

For over 30 years scientists and engineers have theoretically pondered whether it was possible to mitigate global warming by atomising seawater over the ocean in a bid to favourably manipulate aerosol-cloud-radiation processes. Given the current plight of the coral ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, marine cloud brightening is under considereation as a regional strategy to reduce environmental stress on coral reefs during marine heatwaves. Atmospheric, biogeochemical and ecological modelling suggest that the potential exists to reduce light and thermal stress during marine heatwaves causing coral bleaching. Results from recent field campaigns, the first to empirically test the concept of marine cloud brightening, support the foundational assumptions. From its inception the research program has involved consultation and participation of indigenous traditional custodians of the reef and has proceeded within the regulatory oversight of one of the world’s most actively managed marine estates. This talk will give an overview of the Australian research program including the scientific basis which underpins it and a summary of the most recent results and future directions.

How to cite: Harrison, D.: Marine cloud brightening, could it mitigate coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef?, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17057,, 2023.