Reef-scale thermal stress monitoring of coral ecosystems: new 5-km global products from NOAA coral reef watch

Liu, Gang, Heron, Scott F., Eakin, C. Mark, Muller-Karger, Frank E., Vega-Rodriguez, Maria, Guild, Liane S., De La Cour, Jacqueline L., Geiger, Erick F., Skirving, William J., Burgess, Timothy F.R., Strong, Alan E., Harris, Andy, Maturi, Eileen, Ignatov, Alexander, Sapper, John, Li, Jianke, and Lynds, Susan (2014) Reef-scale thermal stress monitoring of coral ecosystems: new 5-km global products from NOAA coral reef watch. Remote Sensing, 6 (11). pp. 11579-11606.

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program has developed a daily global 5-km product suite based on satellite observations to monitor thermal stress on coral reefs. These products fulfill requests from coral reef managers and researchers for higher resolution products by taking advantage of new satellites, sensors and algorithms. Improvements of the 5-km products over CRW's heritage global 50-km products are derived from: (1) the higher resolution and greater data density of NOAA's next-generation operational daily global 5-km geo-polar blended sea surface temperature (SST) analysis; and (2) implementation of a new SST climatology derived from the Pathfinder SST climate data record. The new products increase near-shore coverage and now allow direct monitoring of 95% of coral reefs and significantly reduce data gaps caused by cloud cover. The 5-km product suite includes SST Anomaly, Coral Bleaching HotSpots, Degree Heating Weeks and Bleaching Alert Area, matching existing CRW products. When compared with the 50-km products and in situ bleaching observations for 2013–2014, the 5-km products identified known thermal stress events and matched bleaching observations. These near reef-scale products significantly advance the ability of coral reef researchers and managers to monitor coral thermal stress in near-real-time.

Item ID: 37039
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2072-4292
Keywords: bleaching, thermal stress, satellite, remote sensing, sea surface temperature (SST), monitoring, climatology, hotspots, degree heating week, bleaching alert area
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© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (

Funders: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program
Projects and Grants: NASA Applied Sciences Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Program Grant NNX09AV24G
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 07:34
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040501 Biological Oceanography @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments @ 50%
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