[Coral-List] NOAA Coral Reef Watch Releases New Seasonal Coral Bleaching Forecast System

jacqueline.shapo@noaa.govGMAIL jacqueline.shapo at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 9 12:22:19 EDT 2012

Apologies for any cross-postings.

Good Afternoon, Everyone!

NOAA Coral Reef Watch 
(http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.html) has just released 
on its website a new experimental seasonal bleaching forecast system 
that predicts the probability of thermal stress events capable of 
causing large-scale, mass coral bleaching.  The new Seasonal Coral 
Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook 
uses a weekly, 28-member ensemble of sea surface temperature (SST) 
forecasts from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction's 
(NCEP) operational, dynamical Climate Forecast System Version 1 
(http://cfs.ncep.noaa.gov/) to predict the probability of coral 
bleaching up to four months in the future (typical bleaching season).  
NOAA Coral Reef Watch's first Seasonal Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress 
Outlook product 
released to the public in July 2008, was built from SST forecasts from 
an experimental, statistical Linear Inverse Modeling (LIM) system, 
developed in conjunction with the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory 
(ESRL).  While the LIM-based Outlook will continue to serve the coral 
reef communities, it will do so now alongside the more advanced 
CFS-based Outlook.

The new CFS-based Outlook product significantly enhances NOAA Coral Reef 
Watch's capability for predicting the likelihood of coral bleaching up 
to four months in the future.  Currently, Coral Reef Watch provides the 
CFS-based Seasonal Outlooks at probabilities of 90% and 60%, thereby 
identifying the lowest thermal stress levels that 90% and 60% of the 28 
members predict, respectively.  Coral Reef Watch also provides 
percentages of the 28 ensemble members reaching each of the four coral 
bleaching thermal stress levels (Bleaching Watch & Higher, Bleaching 
Warning & Higher, Alert Level 1 & Higher, and Alert Level 2). The 
corresponding weekly outlooks that the Seasonal Outlook is derived from 
are also provided to give potential thermal stress conditions on a 
weekly time scale.  Work is underway to transition the new CFS-based 
Seasonal Bleaching Outlook product to utilize the newly available 
Version 2 of the CFS (CFSv2). That transition is expected to be complete 
at the end of 2012.

This effort is made possible through collaboration between NOAA/NCEP and 
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, supported by funding from NCEP and the NOAA Coral 
Reef Conservation Program (http://coralreef.noaa.gov/). This new product 
will be announced during the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in 
Cairns, Australia, 9-13 July 2012.For more information, please visit: 

Your feedback is important for us to improve our products. Please send 
your comments and suggestions to coralreefwatch at noaa.gov 
<mailto:coralreefwatch at noaa.gov?subject=[Question/feedback%20for%20CFS-based%20Bleaching%20Outlook%5d>.

CFS-Based Seasonal Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook: 

NOAA Coral Reef Watch: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.html

Thank you very much!

Warm Regards,

Jacquie Rauenzahn


Jacqueline Rauenzahn

Coral Reef Watch Operations Manager
E/RA31, SSMC1, 5th Floor, Room 5306
1335 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Fax: 301-713-3136
Email: Jacqueline.Shapo at noaa.gov

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