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12 weeks.  ( HotSpot value  duration ).  1 ° C. NOAA Operational Satellite SST for Monitoring Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress: Coral Reef Watch’s Satellite Decision Support System for Coral Reef Managers.

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12 weeks

 ( HotSpot value  duration )

 1°C

NOAA Operational Satellite SST for Monitoring Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress:

Coral Reef Watch’s Satellite Decision Support System for Coral Reef Managers

Gang Liu, C. Mark Eakin, Jacqueline L. Rauenzahn, Scott F. Heron, Alan E. Strong, William Skirving, JiankeLi, Tim Burgess, Krystal Repoff, Kelly Howell, John Sapper

[email protected], NOAA Coral Reef Watch, E/RA3, NCWCP, 5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740 USA

NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) has been applying satellite remote sensing to monitor coral reef environments for more than a decade. CRW’s operational satellite sea surface temperature (SST)-based data products monitor global current coral reef environmental conditions to quickly identify areas at risk of thermally-induced mass coral bleaching. Mass coral bleaching events have been well correlated with thermal stress. In the event of severe thermal stress, disease and mortality may follow. Severe bleaching events have dramatic long-term ecological and social impacts. Continuous monitoring of bleaching-level thermal stress at the global scale provides coral reef managers, researchers and stakeholders with critical information to understand, predict, and monitor the development of mass coral bleaching. Taking advantage of continual improvement in NESDIS’ operational satellite SST products, CRW is now developing a next-generation near-real-time satellite decision support system.

  • Early Warning System for Mass Coral Bleaching Events

  • (Current system: 50-km, twice-weekly; Next-generation system: 5-km, daily)

Coral Bleaching HotSpots

Degree Heating Weeks

Bleaching Alert Area

Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

SST Anomaly

SST Trends

2001-2012 Annual Composites (Bleaching Alert Area)

CRW Satellite Virtual Stations

CRW Satellite Bleaching Thermal Stress Monitoring Algorithms

2001

2007

Degree Heating Weeks

SST

SST Bleaching threshold

(MMMSST+1ºC)

Hotspot

2008

2002

Maximum of the

Monthly Mean SST

Climatology

(MMMSST)

Week-0

Time

Week-12

a

b

c

d

2003

2009

2010

2004

HotSpots: Instantaneous thermal stress

Degree Heating Weeks

Cumulative measure of thermal stress intensity and duration during the most-recent 12-week period

2005

2011

2012

2006

≥4 DHWs Coral bleaching is expected

≥8 DHWs Widespread bleaching and mortality are expected

Bleaching Alert Area

Bleaching Thermal Stress Based on Historical Pathfinder SST Data

80

World

Pacific

Caribbean

Increasing Bleaching Thermal Stress

60

> 18ºC

% Reefs with Bleaching Stress

40

20

(35S-35N)

- Coral reefs thrive in global tropical regions: >18°C (35S-35N)

- Cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface

- Provide habitat for 25% of all known marine species

- Support approximately 500 million people

- Require satellite remote sensing for global coverage, reaching remote areas, synoptic viewsof large areas, and real-time and/or near-real-time monitoring

0

1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

Year

Stress LevelDefinitionPotential Bleaching Intensity

No StressHotSpot≤ 0 No Bleaching Bleaching Watch 0 < HotSpot< 1 Bleaching Warning 1 ≤ HotSpotand 0 < DHW < 4 Possible Bleaching Bleaching Alert Level 1 1 ≤ HotSpotand 4 ≤ DHW < 8 Bleaching Likely Bleaching Alert Level 2 1 ≤ HotSpotand 8 ≤ DHW Mortality Likely

Coral Reef Watch: a NOAA/NESDIS program, funded predominantly by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), integrates scientists from the Center for Satellite Applications and the Research (STAR) and Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO).

(Map from ReefBase)

http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

The only satellite-based system available for U.S. and global coral reef management

April 2013


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