[Coral-List] Coral Bleaching Watch for Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Alan Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Thu Aug 12 12:12:38 EDT 2010

Greetings Andy et al. --

Yes, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument appears to be 
dodging the bullet this summer.  Note the virtual stations pages at CRW:


and also the comparison SST time series at these sites for the past ten 
years...nothing like what was seen in 2002:


We note that peak SSTs [climatologically speaking] are seen in September 
for this area but hopefully weather conditions will not be favorable for 
any dramatic rises in SSTs over the next 30 days.

Al Strong

On 8/11/2010 2:48 PM, Andy Collins wrote:
> Aloha,
> We wanted you to be the first to know about the potential of coral
> bleaching events in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands this year.  The
> attached document provides the latest information on coral bleaching as
> an initial step toward multi-agency monitoring of the situation and
> response if necessary.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need
> additional information or have questions.
> 2010 Bleaching Forecast for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
> Background
> Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) is one of the most
> pristine and best protected coral reef ecosystems in the world.  While
> PMNM’s management is designed to best support the ecosystem’s resilience
> to climate change, these measures cannot completely prevent damage from
> climate change.
> One of the effects of climate change is to increase the risk of reef
> damage through mass coral bleaching events.  Mass coral bleaching occurs
> when unusually warm water temperatures disrupt the relationship between
> corals and the symbiotic microscopic algae that live within their
> tissues. Temperature stress causes the coral to expel the algae, and the
> reef appears white or “bleached” as its calcium carbonate skeleton
> becomes visible.  Coral bleaching was recorded in PMNM in 2002 and 2004,
> and is likely to occur again in the future
> (http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreef/coral_report_2005/NWHI_Ch10_C.pdf). 
> Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is co-managed through a
> partnership of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife
> Service, the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric
> Administration, and the State of Hawaii.  PMNM works with a network of
> leading scientists to assess bleaching risks and impacts by monitoring
> climate forecasts, sea temperatures, and coral conditions throughout the
> bleaching season (July-November).
> 2010 Forecast
> Based on available information, the threat of widespread coral bleaching
> within PMNM is currently rated as low to moderate
> (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/virtual_stations/nwhi_virtualstations.html). 
> Globally, 2010 has been a significant year for mass coral bleaching..
> Severe events in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have caused up to
> 100% bleaching in some areas, resulting in high levels of coral
> mortality.  The regional heat event that caused this extreme event in
> Southeast Asia has recently moved toward Micronesia, with reports of
> bleaching already reported in Palau.  Climate forecasts raise concern
> that a similar heating event may warm sea temperatures in PMNM beyond
> bleaching thresholds.
> Predictions developed by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch Program suggest that
> the bleaching risk is greatest to Papahānaumokuākea’s northern atolls:
> Kure, Pearl and Hermes, and Midway; the highest temperature stress is
> likely to occur in September 2010.  However, local weather conditions,
> including either storms or doldrums, will strongly influence the actual
> sea temperatures and could either prevent or worsen a mass bleaching
> event.
> Current measurements of sea temperature by both satellites and in-water
> instruments indicate slightly above average temperatures and a very
> minor accumulation of heat stress.  Research cruises in August and
> September will provide an update on sea temperatures and coral
> condition, which will be described in subsequent condition reports.
> For further information, please contact NOAA’s Research Coordinator for
> PMNM (heidi.schuttenberg at noaa.gov).
> Sincerely,
> Leadership & Staff
> Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
> a World Heritage Site
> www.papahanaumokuakea.gov
> (808)397-2660
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

****<><  *******<><  *******<><  *******<><  *******
Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Consultant
Strong Research, Inc.&  AJH Environmental Services
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5311
1335 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
301-713-2857 x134               Fax: 301-713-3136
Cell: 410-490-6602

More information about the Coral-List mailing list