This challenge is a small part of a bigger problem in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, which the country is well known of, is shrinking because of storm events and extreme temperatures. Especially these “heat waves” have a bad influence on the recovery of damaged reefs. This problem inspired us to create this challenge.
The most significant challenge to sustain functional coral reefs is the increasing temperature of the ocean. Because of climate change the temperature of the water in the ocean increases. This increase in temperature leads to “heat stress” for a lot of the coral. This results in coral bleaching and a shrinking reef.
A simple small-scaled solution would be something that could cool off the water when needed. The challenge is to recognize when this is needed. That’s is why we ask you to engineer a device that recognizes when the water temperature is above 29 degrees celsius. This is the maximum temperature in which the coral develops properly. The device should be able to activate a cooler in the water that decreases the overall temperature, when the water temperature rises above this 29 degrees celsius.
This may be a simple solution that doesn’t work for the Great Barrier Reefs, but it will give you an idea of the origin of this challenge. See the link below for more information about the Great Barrier Reefs.
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