Daily 5 km Satellite Coral Bleaching Monitoring
(Version 2, experimental product)

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Current Regional Images
Alert Area (7-day max):  Global | 45ns | East | West | Pacific | Coral Triangle [big] | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
Hotspots:  Global | 45ns | East | West | Pacific | Coral Triangle [big] | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
DHW:  Global | 45ns | East | West | Pacific | Coral Triangle [big] | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
SST:  Global | 45ns | East | West | Pacific | Coral Triangle [big] | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
SST Anomaly:  Global | 45ns | East | West | Pacific | Coral Triangle [big] | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR

Archived Regional Images
(Alert Area and Degree Heating Week available since 3 June 2013; others since 12 March 2013)


Product Description

The NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) experimental daily global 5 km (0.05 degree exactly) satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite presented here is a new-generation version of the current operational twice-weekly 50 km (0.5 degree exactly) monitoring product suite. The high-resolution 5 km suite currently includes sea surface temperature (SST), SST Anomaly, Coral Bleaching HotSpots, Degree Heating Weeks (DHW), and Bleaching Alert Area products, matching to the core operational 50 km satellite products. 5 km versions of CRW's other operational products, such as the Virtual Stations and automated Satellite Bleaching Alert E-mail System, will come soon after CRW finalizes appropriate representative satellite pixel locations for select reef sites in the global tropical oceans. The 5 km product suite provides two major improvements over the current operational 50 km product suite:

  1. New-generation SST Analysis for Deriving the Product Suite

    1. Improved Data Density and Spatial and Temporal Resolutions

    2. Improved SST Quality with New-Generation SST Algorithm

  2. Improved Climatology

Click here for a more detailed description of the enhancements associated with the 5 km products suite (version 1).

This daily global 5 km coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite significantly advances CRW's capability for near-real-time satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring. The 5 km products will comprise the core of CRW's new-generation Decision Support System (DSS) for coral reef management. With higher spatial and temporal resolution products, CRW can now provide service at or close to reef-scales. After further testing and evaluation of the 5 km product suite, CRW's decades-old operational 50 km product suite, which has provided pioneer service to global coral reef communities, will be retired.

Version 2 of the 5 km product suite, presented here, was released on May 5, 2014. It is based on NESDIS' operational daily global 5 km Geo-Polar Blended Nighttime-only SST Analysis, released in March 2013, and uses a new version of the 5 km climatology (available since April 2014). Version 1 of the 5 km product suite, inaugurated in June 2012, was based on NESDIS' operational daily global 5 km Geo-Polar Blended Day-Night SST analysis, released in March 2012, and an initial 5 km climatology.

A 7-day maximum Bleaching Alert Area composite product, updated daily, was introduced in the Version 2 product suite. This 7-day composite product shows the maximum stress level that a data grid has experienced during the most recent 7 consecutive days, based on the thermal stress level evaluated for each of the 7 days. The data and images are dated the last day of the 7-day period. SST variability is often considerably higher at the much finer 5 km spatial and daily temporal resolutions, when compared with CRW's 50 km twice-weekly SST. Due to resulting day-to-day fluctuations between stress levels in highly-variable locations, the 5 km single-day Bleaching Alert Area product does not consistently and adequately identify potentially harmful thermal stress levels, especially with regard to the impact of accumulated thermal stress. Rather than requiring users to examine the 5 km single-day Bleaching Alert Area product over several days, the 7-day maximum Bleaching Alert Area composite product provides coral reef ecosystem managers and other stakeholders with a much more convenient tool for monitoring recent thermal conditions. Additionally, the 5 km 7-day maximum Bleaching Alert Area composite product is compatible with CRW's operational 50 km twice-weekly Bleaching Alert Area product, as the 50 km Bleaching Alert Area product is actually based on a half-week (3 or 4 days) composite of 50 km SSTs, but with much less SST variability due to its much coarser spatial resolution.

Note that all other Version 2 products presented here are single-day products, updated daily.

Development of the new-generation 5 km product suite has been accomplished through a collaboration of CRW, the University of South Florida, NASA-Ames, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, with funding support from the NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting program and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. The 5 km product suite will undergo continuous improvements over the next few years.

CRW will continue to produce the current operational 50 km product suite until the 5 km product suite becomes operational. There will be some differences between the two product suites in certain areas, and user discretion is advised. We expect that the 5 km product suite will be more accurate in general, due to the improved data quality, density, and spatial and temporal resolutions.


Detailed Description of 5 km Product Suite (Version 1)

CRW Operational Twice-weekly 50 km Product Suite