[Coral-List] Bleaching Continues in the Pacific

Mark Eakin - NOAA Federal mark.eakin at noaa.gov
Mon Sep 22 10:38:36 EDT 2014

Both our 50-km operational products and our new 5-km products continue to show a wide region of warm water capable of causing bleaching. The hottest conditions still continue to plague Guam & CNMI and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This pattern is quite apparent in our Pacific basin images at: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleaching5km/index.php

Guam and Southern CNMI: As is visible in our 5-km regional products for this area (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/regions/guam_cnmi.php), the area encompassing Guam north through Saipan continues to be surrounded by a mix of thermal stress levels, mostly Bleaching Alert Level 1. This warming has been in place for these islands since July.
Northern CNMI: Also hit by prolonged warming this year, the northern islands continue to be even hotter and mostly at Bleaching Alert Level 2, with some DHW values in the 12-15 range. These islands are covered by our regional products at: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/regions/northern_cnmi.php
The Seasonal Bleaching Outlook indicates these bleaching conditions may continue for another month (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleachingoutlook_cfs/outlook_cfs..php)

Hawaii: The main Hawaiian islands are uncharacteristically warm and seeing a mix of Bleaching Watch and Bleaching Warnings. See: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/regions/hawaii.php. 
In the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, temperatures have reached Bleaching Alert Level 1 around Nihoa and to the west of French Frigate Shoals, rising to Alert Level 2 at Litsianski and west, and again at Pearl and Hermes and Midway. See: 
http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/regions/eastern_northwest_hawaii.php and http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/regions/western_northwest_hawaii.php
Unfortunately, the Seasonal Bleaching Outlook shows continued warming, with possible intensification around the Main Hawaiian Islands and with strong warming in the PMNM for the next month (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleachingoutlook_cfs/outlook_cfs..php).

Micronesia and the Marshall Islands: Parts of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are just beginning to see Bleaching Alert Level 1 & 2 conditions (see http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleaching5km/index.php). Unfortunately, the Seasonal Bleaching Outlook shows continued warming in the southwestern Pacific for the next few months (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleachingoutlook_cfs/outlook_cfs..php).

We are working on regional products for other areas currently not covered and will put them online as soon as they are ready.

Please send all bleaching observations to coralreefwatch at noaa.gov and/or the NOAA/ReefBase collaborative online bleaching report  form: http://www.reefbase.org/contribute/bleachingreport.aspx. Your bleaching observations (including observations of no bleaching) are greatly appreciated. Should you have any questions or feedback on our Coral Reef Watch products, please send an e-mail to coralreefwatch at noaa.gov.


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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