[Coral-List] Downscaled projections of coral bleaching

Ruben van Hooidonk ruben.van.hooidonk at noaa.gov
Thu Apr 2 12:11:00 EDT 2015

Dear Coral Listers,

We have recently published downscaled projections of coral bleaching conditions for the greater Caribbean. This new article is open access at Global Change Biology and can be accessed here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12901/abstract <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12901/abstract>

A main conclusion of the study is that almost all coral reef locations in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are projected to experience bleaching conditions every year by mid-century. This result applies to the past coarse-resolution projections as well as the new high-resolution projections. However, the high-resolution projections show there is great within-country variation in the projected timing of extreme conditions. There are locations within many countries where some reefs are projected to experience annual bleaching conditions 15 or more years later than other locations. This applies to reefs in Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and Mexico. Reefs projected to experience bleaching conditions later can be considered conservation priorities. These locations are a type of refuge, and may be among the locations most likely to persist as the climate changes.

The method we developed for statistical downscaling can produce 4-km resolution projections. We are hoping to make statistically downscaled projections available for all coral reef areas by the end of 2015. For now, the model-resolution projections from our team that were reported on within IPCC AR5 can still be accessed here:
http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/climate/projections/piccc_oa_and_bleaching/index.php <http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/climate/projections/piccc_oa_and_bleaching/index.php>


Ruben van Hooidonk, Jeffrey Maynard, Yanyun Liu, and Sang Ki-Lee.

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