Warming trends and bleaching stress of the world's coral reefs 1985-2012

Heron, Scott F., Maynard, Jeffrey A., Van Hooidonk, Ruben, and Eakin, C. Mark (2016) Warming trends and bleaching stress of the world's coral reefs 1985-2012. Scientific Reports, 6. 38402. pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

Coral reefs across the world's oceans are in the midst of the longest bleaching event on record (from 2014 to at least 2016). As many of the world's reefs are remote, there is limited information on how past thermal conditions have influenced reef composition and current stress responses. Using satellite temperature data for 1985-2012, the analysis we present is the first to quantify, for global reef locations, spatial variations in warming trends, thermal stress events and temperature variability at reef-scale (∼4 km). Among over 60,000 reef pixels globally, 97% show positive SST trends during the study period with 60% warming significantly. Annual trends exceeded summertime trends at most locations. This indicates that the period of summer-like temperatures has become longer through the record, with a corresponding shortening of the â € winter' reprieve from warm temperatures. The frequency of bleaching-level thermal stress increased three-fold between 1985-91 and 2006-12 - a trend climate model projections suggest will continue. The thermal history data products developed enable needed studies relating thermal history to bleaching resistance and community composition. Such analyses can help identify reefs more resilient to thermal stress.

Item ID: 49125
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Keywords: environmental impact, physical oceanography
Additional Information:

© The Author(s) 2016.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Funders: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program, Total Foundation (TF)
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 00:08
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
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