[Coral-List] Coral Reef Sea Temperature Data from 146 Sites, including Cuba

James Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Fri Jun 10 13:37:15 EDT 2016


We wanted to inform Coral-Listers that sea surface temperature data are
available for coral reefs around the world through our online data query
tool at the Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) portal,


Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperatures, or OISSTs, are data
from microwave satellite observation platforms, products that are
sourced from Remote Sensing Systems.  Whereas other sea surface
temperature sources might be missing data due to orbital gaps or
non-ideal environmental conditions such as cloud cover or rainfall, the
OISST platform corrects for these errors to provide a complete, daily
sea surface temperature map that can benefit coral health and monitoring
efforts worldwide.
The new data source is loaded from OISST files dating back to January 1,
1998 through the present day. These Remote Sensing data are distinct
from longer-term climate data records in that they represent "foundation
sea temperature" estimates. These estimates use a one-dimensional model
to calculate daytime warming for each region, represented by a pixel in
the global dataset, based on local conditions of wind and light
penetration. In well-sampled regions this may not impact the final
product, but the data sources used in most analyses have large regions
where few satellite retrievals exist each month due to persistent cloud
cover, making the daytime satellite retrievals of the OISST extremely
Prior to the integration of the OISST data, the CHAMP Portal included 54
sites, 14 of which reported data from on-site instrumentation and the
rest of which were termed "virtual stations." Virtual stations are
locations of interest throughout the world's coral habitats for
which remotely-sensed data products are available. Often, these
locations are selected to be virtual forerunners of on-site observation
platforms to be deployed at a later date. Integration of the
Remote Sensing Systems' OISSTs has enabled AOML to add an additional 92
virtual stations for a current total of 146 sites, nearly tripling the
amount of coverage across the world’s coral habitats.
NOAA oceanographers recently added two new sites to its collection of
virtual stations in Cuban waters. The two new stations are located at
sites near Cuban coral reefs, known to be some of the most pristine in
the region. The virtual station at Banco de San Antonio is in a
commercially important fisheries region and serves as a sister sanctuary
to NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of
Mexico. The other virtual station is located in Cabo San Antonio, part
of the Guanahacabibes National Park, a sister sanctuary to NOAA’s
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. By monitoring conditions at
these comparable sister sanctuary sites, NOAA oceanographers will be
able to evaluate ecosystem function and changes occurring across the
Straits of Florida.

The CHAMP Team is engaged in many other coral-related activities, too,
including ocean acidification and coral genomics.  See


for an overview.

Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

    Sincerely yours,

    Jim Hendee
    Mike Jankulak
    Lew Gramer
    Edward Pritchard

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