Researchers have for the first time completed a detailed map of the world coral reef map

Using more than 2 million satellite images from around the world, researchers have completed a comprehensive map of the world’s coral reefs.

Named after Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Allen Coral Atlas serves as a reference for reef conservation, marine planning and coral science as researchers seek to save these eco-friendly ecosystems.

The team announced the completion of the Atlas Wednesday and said it was the first international and high-quality map. Provides users with detailed information about local reef, including various types of submarines such as sand, rocks, seaweed and of course coral.

Maps covering areas up to 50 feet (15 meters) deep can be used to inform policy decisions about coastal areas, infrastructure such as ships and beaches, and future coral rehabilitation projects.

“We have a unified map of the entire coral reef biome,” said Greg Asner, managing director of Atlas and director of the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation at Arizona State University.

Asner said they rely on hundreds of field-contributing networks that provide information about the reef environment to enable their satellites and software to focus on the right locations.

Decisions have been made so far that they can help us to make decisions on the field, ”Asner said. “If you do not know what you have achieved in a more consistent way, will the United Nations ever play a real role? How can an island government with 500 islands make a unified decision? ”

Atlas includes a Coral Blane monitor to test for coral stress caused by global warming and other factors.

According to Asner, about three of the world’s reefs have never had such a deep map before, and many have never.

The project Launched in 2017, Alan’s company, Volkan Inc., was working with Hawaii researcher Ruth Gates on the idea of ​​creating a “super coral” for the reef.

Gates and Volkan brought Asner to work with the Global Air Observatory, which had reef maps in Hawaii at the time.

Allen, who said he wanted to help save the world’s coral reef, liked the idea of ​​using data to visualize information, so Gates connected the team to a satellite company called Planet, and Allen provided about $ 9 million for the project.

The University of Queensland in Australia has used artificial intelligence and environmental reference data to create layers on Atlas. Anyone can view maps online for free.

Allen and Gates both passed away in 2018, and Asner and others continued their work. “Ruth was very happy, wasn’t she?” Said Asner. She really does regret it. He said one-third of his calls were from researchers who wanted to use the maps to “make sure their plans and reef rehabilitation work were effective.”

When Gates learned that she was ill, she selected her friend and co-worker Helen Fox from the National Geographic Society to help her communicate with security teams about how to use the device.

“It was really an international effort,” says Fox, now the director of conservation science at Coral Reef Alliance. There have been many efforts to communicate with people and to help people understand the value of the device and its potential scientific and conservative value.


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