GBR Bleaching Status Update

Paul Marshall paulma at
Fri Jan 24 19:45:17 EST 2003

[Coral-List Admin Note: this message was unfortunately delayed.]

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, in conjunction with the
Australian Institute of Marine Science and NOAA, are once again closely
monitoring conditions on the Great Barrier Reef as summer progresses.
Below is a summary of the latest coral bleaching status report. The
full  status report can be found on the GBRMPA web site:

GBR Coral Bleaching Status Update - 14 January 2002

The news continues to be good in terms of coral bleaching risk for the
Great Barrier Reef (GBR) this summer. Weather conditions remain
relatively mild, with good cloud cover and persistent winds keeping sea
temperatures at or below seasonal averages, despite El Nino conditions
over much of eastern Australia. No significant coral bleaching has been
reported to date from the Reef, and bleaching thresholds have not been
reached at any key monitoring sites.

This time last year, sea temperatures were 2-4 degrees C above current
temperatures, resulting in the worst coral bleaching event ever
recorded  for the GBR. While the milder conditions this year are cause
of some  optimism, hot conditions leading to widespread coral bleaching
in 1998  did not develop until the end of January. This suggests that
there is  still some potential for a coral bleaching event on the GBR in
the  months ahead, although the risk of an event as severe as last
summer is  now substantially reduced. A full report of the 2002
bleaching event can  also be found on the GBRMPA web site:

The GBRMPA, in conjunction with AIMS and NOAA, will continue to closely
monitor and report on conditions on the Reef throughout summer.

The GBRMPA welcomes any reports of coral bleaching. If you regularly
visit a reef site, or you have seen bleaching on the reef, we would be
grateful for your input to our Community Bleaching Assessment Program.
For more information see the GBRMPA website or contact Jessica Hoey
(jessicah at


Dr Paul Marshall
Research & Monitoring Co-ordination
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
PO Box 1379
Townsville QLD 4810

email: p.marshall at
phone: 07 4750 0771
fax:   07 4772 6093
mobile:0428 889 812

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