[Coral-List] Observations of current bleaching impacts in Pacific Islands

arthur webbarthur at gmail.com
Tue May 3 18:04:41 EDT 2016

Hello Coral-List,

Like everyone here I've watched with great concern as the current 
bleaching event has unfolded. Reading the reviews out of NOAA (thanks so 
much for the excellent information and services you continue to provide) 
and reading the survey updates from our colleagues working in the Great 
Barrier Reef leaves me wondering how widespread and bad things are in my 
"back-yard", the Pacific Islands region (I'm based in Tarawa). From what 
I can tell it seems to have affected countries mostly near and north of 
the equator but there is so little quantitative data or information on 
spatial extent and severity of impacts I'm unsure if this is correct? In 
many cases it's only possible to assume the extent and level of impacts 
based on remotely sensed SST data.

Questions of reef system function, persistence and productivity are for 
us pivotal to the very survival of whole communities, ways of life and 
indeed the persistence of many of our islands as habitable environments. 
I'm trying to gather quantitative information regarding observations 
from the Pacific region on the current event? I've read some material 
from the Hawaiian group, Marshall Islands and Guam but much is anecdotal 
or stories in the popular media, etc. All up I'm struggling to find 
sound quantitative studies for the Pacific Islands.

Can anyone highlight studies or research in the region regarding the 
current event, any information or pointers would be greatly appreciated.


Dr Arthur Webb
Senior Fellow - ANCORS
University of Wollongong

webbarthur at gmail.com

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