5 inventions that could transform the health of our ocean

A garbage truckful – every minute. That’s how much plastic waste is being dumped in the ocean. And that’s just the plastics – chemicals and sewage are also major concerns.

But the problem is inspiring innovators to create ingenious solutions – both to capture and repurpose marine plastics, and to measure the scale of pollution in new ways. And the need for such ideas is acute: a study undertaken by the World Economic Forum and partners has found that – without action – by 2050, the weight of plastics in the ocean could be greater than the weight of fish. It’s a good time to look at green innovations, with many, including the Forum, advocating for businesses and governments to put sustainability at the heart of a COVID-19 recovery strategy.


Researchers have found new defense to help coral bleaching

Coral reefs are home to as many species as tropical rainforests. Yet rapidly heating waters threaten to wipe coral out.

Reducing carbon emissions is one way to keep waters from getting too hot. But scientists in Australia are also on a mission to save coral by training the microalgae that keep them alive, and they’ve documented their efforts in a new study in Science Advances published on Wednesday. Hotter water puts stress on coral and can lead to coral spitting out algae, a process known as coral bleaching. When that happens, though, it can be a death sentence for coral and the species that rely on healthy reefs. In an effort to help coral, scientists created an exposure therapy experiment for the tiny algae that provide them with life.