The issue of “coral bleaching” gained international attention earlier this year when news broke that the phenomenon hadÂ damaged two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast.Â
Coral bleaching happens when water temperature becomes too hot, which stresses coral and causes it to expel the algae living within its tissue. Algae is what gives coral its bright colors, andÂ without it, coral appearsÂ bleached white.
Scientists have warned that climate change is causing mass bleaching that could kill coral around the world.Â
An Arizona engineerÂ thinks he may have a solution.Â
Mohammad “Mo”Â Ehsani, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at the University of Arizona, thinks it’s as simple as moving around cold water.
Using infrastructure ideas to save an ecosystem
Ehsani is president of QuakeWrap, a Tucson-based company specializing in repairing infrastructure using fiber-reinforced polymer. Last year, the companyÂ won theÂ American Society of Civil Engineersâ Innovation Award.
He came up with the reef-saving idea after inventingÂ technology that can manufacture a single pipe that is as long as desired.Â
InfinitPipe is manufactured on site, reducing transportation costs, and its seamless design reduces the need for maintenance.Â
For his idea, the company would build one lightweight pipe that would pump cooler water from deeper in the oceanÂ up to the shallow, warmer water that is home to coral reefs.Â
“Itâs really the infinite pipe that makes this…