[Coral-List] Bleaching Outlook for upcoming Austral Summer Bleaching Season

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Sun Nov 30 08:42:01 EST 2008

The following is extracted from out latest Outlook alert message.   
The outlook product page provides access to maps, animations, weekly  
outlooks, and Google Earth products.  You can find this message, in  
its entirely with attached images at our current alert message.

November NOAA Coral Reef Watch Bleaching Outlook Through February 2009

              The NOAA Coral Reef Watch bleaching prediction product  
indicates that the greatest chance of bleaching during the upcoming  
austral summer will be in the region bounded by Papua-New Guinea, the  
Solomon Islands, and the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR).   
Currently, the forecast system suggests that thermal stress with the  
potential for severe bleaching is a possibility in that region with  
milder thermal stress in in a band stretching from the Coral Triangle  
region southeast to Fiji and perhaps French Polynesia.  The figure at  
the top of our outlook product page shows the most recent global 15- 
week Coral Bleaching Outlook from 25 November 2008.

Indo-Pacific Bleaching Outlook:

             The area most likely to suffer thermal stress with the  
potential for severe bleaching during the next 15 weeks is a region  
spanning Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Far Northern  
section of the GBR.  Less severe thermal stress is a expected in a  
broader region including all of the Cairns section of the GBR.  To  
the west, the model currently predicts a threat of moderate levels of  
thermal stress from southern Borneo across through Timor-Leste to  
southern Papua New Guinea and Torres Strait.  This level of potential  
stress then picks up in the central GBR and east extending across  
Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the east-southeast of Fiji.  Some mild  
stress may be seen around Madagascar.  The greatest warming is  
expected to begin from late January through February.

Caribbean / Americas 2008 Bleaching Season Retrospective:

             The 2008 boreal bleaching season has passed its peak and  
almost all of this year’s anomalous temperatures have disappeared in  
the southern Caribbean.  In its inaugural year the forecast system  
did well in predicting the general patterns of thermal stress in the  
Caribbean in 2008.  The figures below compare the outlook issued in  
August with the maximum thermal stress maximum experienced so far in  
the Caribbean during 2008.  The forecast of sudden warming around  
Baja California was especially successful. The forecast system over- 
predicted bleaching in outlook updates late in the season and we are  
working to correct that problem.



C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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for all. Delay is no longer an option.
Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high.  
The consequences, too serious."
President-Elect Barack Obama, Nov. 18 2008

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