[Coral-List] A new tool that shares updated projections for bleaching and ocean acidification

Ruben van Hooidonk rubski at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 12:51:25 EST 2013


We’re writing to call your attention to a new Google Earth™ tool that
contains the newest projections of coral bleaching and ocean acidification
(OA) for all coral reef areas. The projections are based on an ensemble of
climate models from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and are for all four
of the new Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) experiments (akin to
the older SRES scenarios). The Google Earth tool allows viewers to navigate
to areas of interest and view:

1. The years by which two thermal stress levels known to cause bleaching
are projected to occur twice per decade and annually;
2. Projected declines in aragonite saturation state as well as
corresponding declines in calcification.

This is the first time (that we know of) that climate change projections
have been shared like this with the coral reef community. Our hope is that
use of the tool and images from it will help some of you to communicate
about the threats posed to reefs by climate change with both your
colleagues and with policymakers.

The Google Earth tool can be accessed from the NOAA Coral Reef Watch pages
at this link:

The projections are presented within a paper recently published in GCB that
you can access at this link (reference below):

The paper summarizes the results of the projections and highlights that
under the fossil-fuel aggressive emissions scenario there are no refugia
from both the onset of annual severe bleaching (by 2053 for 90% of all
coral reef areas under RCP 8.5) and the effects of ocean acidification.
There are opposite latitudinal gradients in these threats to reefs. Areas
projected to experience annual bleaching later are exposed to the effects
of acidification for longer. Please email us to request reprints of the
paper if you cannot access it.

The tool and paper are outputs were supported by a grant to our group from
the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative.

We hope this work is of use to you in your research and conservation
efforts. Feel free to write with questions or comments.


Ruben van Hooidonk and Jeff Maynard.

E: ruben.van.hooidonk at noaa.gov
E: maynardmarine at gmail.com

Reference: van Hooidonk, R. J., Maynard, J. A., Manzello, D., & Planes, S.
(2013). Opposite latitudinal gradients in projected ocean acidification and
bleaching impacts on coral reefs. Global Change Biology,

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