[Coral-List] new bleaching risk assessment tools for GBR and Coral Sea
j.maynard at gbrmpa.gov.au
Wed Mar 7 23:39:33 EST 2007
Recently, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority have been
collaborating with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research and the Bureau
of Meteorology to produce new products to both nowcast and forecast
coral bleaching events and impacts in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral
Sea (media release below this message). This work builds on the highly
acclaimed Hotspot family of products developed by the NOAA Coral Reef
Watch team, lead by Alan Strong and Mark Eakin.
1. ReefTemp: ReefTemp is a mapping product that provides nowcasts of
bleaching risk in the Great Barrier Reef region through an interactive
Google Earth application. ReefTemp images are updated daily and include
the raw SST, positive SST anomaly, the Degree-Heating Days, and a new
thermal stress index, the Heating Rate, all calculated at 2km resolution.
The ReefTemp product and more information can be viewed on the ReefTemp
Technical report describing the development of ReefTemp:
Links to the minimum system requirements (such as a 3D graphics card and
_>_512mb RAM) to run the new versions of Google Earth (ReefTemp requires
at least version 4.0.2091 - Sept 2006) are available on the ReefTemp
site. For those that cannot run the interactive product, current static
images of the stress indices are available on the 'Launch ReefTemp Now!'
2. POAMA Experimental GBR SST Forecasts: The Predictive Ocean and
Atmosphere Model Australia (POAMA) working group at the Bureau of
Meteorology Research Centre in Melbourne have worked with the GBRMPA to
adapt outputs of their climate model to provide forecasts of anomalous
SST in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Plots are provided on the
website with lead times of 0-3 months, here:
Skill plots for the POAMA GBR Forecasts show high skill values for these
intraseasonal forecasts and can be found at:
For further information or to share comments and ideas, please contact:
j.maynard at gbrmpa.gov.au
...media release below signature.
Climate Change Response Programme
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
2-68 Flinders St
PO Box 1379
Townsville, Qld 4810
Ph: 61 (07) 4750 0771
Mobile: 61 0424325050
Fax: 61 (07) 4772 6093
Email: J.Maynard at gbrmpa.gov.au
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*CSIRO Media Release*
*Daily updates to assess Great Barrier Reef bleaching*
A new tool has been developed which provides daily updates of the risk
of ‘coral bleaching’ in the Great Barrier Reef and other reefs in the
Developed by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, the Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM),
/ReefTemp/ is the newest of a suite of tools using satellite
observations to detect environmental impacts within a changing climate.
CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Research Flagship scientist, Dr Peter Turner,
says the tool provides the highest resolution (2km x 2km) assessments of
bleaching risk of any product in the world.
“With /ReefTemp/, bleaching risk for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and
other reefs in the Coral Sea can be monitored at the scale of an
individual reef from any computer with an Internet connection," he says.
/“ReefTemp/ is a great example of an environmental management tool
developed using the results of long-term research programs, modern
computer technology and strong collaboration between agencies. For
example, Bureau of Meteorology has worked closely with the GBRMPA on
this project,” Dr Turner says.
The GBRMPA Climate Change Response Programme’s Jeff Maynard says mass
coral bleaching events, caused by higher than normal sea temperatures,
are widely considered to be one of the greatest threats to the GBR.
“Building on pioneering work in this area by the US National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration,/ ReefTemp/ is the first sea-surface
temperature monitoring and mapping product in Australia tailored
specifically to record coral bleaching,” Mr Maynard says.
The Predictive Ocean and Atmosphere Model Australia group at the Bureau
of Meteorology have worked with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
Authority to develop a product that complements /ReefTemp/’s daily
updates of the current risk by assessing the likelihood that
temperatures will exceed bleaching tolerances one to three months in
"Combined, these products enable the GBRMPA, scientists, tourism
operators, students and individuals to better monitor and assess the
extent and severity of coral bleaching risk in the Marine Park. “It also
enables the Marine Park Authority to fine-tune research and monitoring
trips during the bleaching season and better understand the relationship
between thermal stress and bleaching.”
Mr Maynard says /ReefTemp/ updates show that current regional
sea-surface temperatures continue to be below long-term February
averages while the Predictive Ocean and Atmosphere Model Australia
forecasts of sea-surface temperature suggest this trend will continue
over coming weeks.
“So far this summer, there have been some observations of minor,
isolated bleaching on some reef flats but the risk of widespread coral
bleaching during the 2007 summer in the GBR region is currently ‘low’.
Dr Peter Turner, CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship
Jeff Maynard, GBRMPA Climate Change Response Programme
Visit the /ReefTemp/ website:
Craig Macaulay, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
03 6232 5219
*www.csiro.au <http://www.csiro.au/> *
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