Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook
(Experimental, Version 3.0, CFSv2-based, updated weekly, 0.5x0.5-degree spatial resolution)

NEW RELEASE (Feb. 9, 2015): Coral Bleaching Outlook (v3.0)!
Feedback welcome at coralreefwatch@noaa.gov.

   Current Maps: Global | East | West | Pacific | Caribbean | Coral Triangle     Archive 

Outlook of Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress:            (Click on the images below to see them in full-size.)

90% Chance:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current Seasonal Bleaching Outlook (CFS-based, V3.0) Weekly Outlook
60% Chance:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current Seasonal Bleaching Outlook (CFS-based, V3.0) Weekly Outlook

Probabilistic Outlook of Bleaching Thermal Stress Reaching and Exceeding Specified Levels:           

Alert Level 2:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current Bleaching Outlook Alert level 2 Probability (CFS-based, V3.0) Weekly Outlook
Alert Level 1 & higher:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current Seasonal Bleaching Outlook Alertlevel 1 Probability (CFS-based, V3.0) Weekly Outlook
Warning & higher:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current Seasonal Bleaching Outlook Warning Probability (CFS-based, V3.0) Weekly Outlook
Watch & higher:
(stress predicted)
 
 
 
 
 
Current Bleaching Outlook Watch Probability (CFS-based, V3.0 Weekly Outlook

 Current Maps: Global | East | West | Pacific | Caribbean | Coral Triangle       Archive 


Product Description

The NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) experimental weekly Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook product at 0.5°x0.5° spatial resolution presented here is the newest version (3.0) of the product (released February 2015). The Outlook is updated weekly, usually on late Tuesday mornings (U.S. Eastern Time), and is based on the daily sea surface temperature (SST) forecast from the NOAA/National Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2). CFS is an operational, dynamical, fully coupled ocean-land-atmosphere seasonal climate forecast model system. A detailed description of CRW's CFS-based Bleaching Outlook product is given in Eakin et al. (2012).

CRW's CFS-based Outlook product predicts the likelihood of coral bleaching thermal stress up to four months in the future (typical length of a bleaching season). With the CFS's four forecast runs per day, CRW produces probabilistic outlooks with 28 ensemble members at a weekly time scale. At the top of this page, CRW displays its four-month composite outlooks at probabilities of 90% and 60% for the entire target time period, thereby identifying the lowest thermal stress levels that 90% and 60% of the 28 members predict, respectively. All other probabilities can be identified in the bottom four images, which show the percentages of the 28 ensemble members reaching each of CRW's pre-defined coral bleaching thermal stress levels (Bleaching Watch & Higher, Bleaching Warning & Higher, Alert Level 1 & Higher, and Alert Level 2) for the four-month outlook period. Weekly outlooks of the six variables (mapped on this page) that predict potential thermal stress conditions for each week during the target four-month period, and that the four-month composite outlooks are derived from, are accessible through the links provided to the right of the corresponding maps.

Note that CRW's weekly Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook was formerly known as the Seasonal Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook product. With the release of the Version 3.0 Outlook, we felt a name change was in order. Although the product does provide the maximum composite outlook for the entire coverage period of four months, it also provides an outlook for each individual week within a four-month period. Furthermore, the product updates weekly, not seasonally as the previous name might suggest.

CRW's very first (pioneer) weekly Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook product was at 2°x2° spatial resolution and was released to the public in July 2008 during the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. It was based on the SST forecast from an experimental, statistical Linear Inverse Modeling (LIM) system (Liu et al. 2009). The LIM-based Outlook was discontinued in February 2015 due to issues discovered with the LIM model's forecast for specific coral reef areas around the globe.

The first version of CRW's CFS-based weekly Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook product, based on the SST forecast from CFS Version 1 (CFSv1, Saha et a. 2006), was released to the public in July 2012 during the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. The availability of the CFS-based Outlook product has significantly enhanced CRW's capability for predicting the likelihood of coral bleaching thermal stress. With CFS's multiple forecast runs per day, CRW is able to produce a probabilistic outlook that was not possible with CRW's older, LIM-based deterministic Outlook. In December 2012, the second version of the CFS-based Thermal Stress Outlook was released by upgrading the system to use the SST forecast from the operational CFS Version 2 (CFSv2) (Saha et al. 2012; Saha et al. 2010) that replaced CFSv1. In February 2015, the third version of the CFS-based Thermal Stress Outlook was launched with a finer spatial resoltion of 0.5x0.5-degrees, increased from the previous 1x1-degree resolution. Furthermore, the daily 0.25-degree Optimum Interpolation SST (OISST) Version 2 analysis now provides the observations that feed the Version 3.0 Outlook product, instead of the weekly 1x1-degree OISST Version 2. As a result, the Version 3.0 Outlook is produced one week earlier than the Version 2 Outlook product.

In a normal year, the Outlook forecasts no potential for bleaching. When the forecasted SST exceeds bleaching thresholds over a long enough period to cause bleaching, the Outlook maps display the bleaching potential. Actual conditions may vary due to model uncertainty, subsequent changes in climatic conditions, extreme localized variability, or weather patterns.

This effort is made possible through collaboration between NOAA's NCEP and CRW, with funding support from NOAA's NCEP, Climate Program Office, and Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Your feedback is important for us to improve our products. Please send your comments and suggestions to coralreefwatch@noaa.gov.

 

References

Eakin CM, Liu G, Chen M, Kumar A (2012) Ghost of bleaching future: Seasonal Outlooks from NOAA's Operational Climate Forecast System. Proc 12th Int Coral Reef Sym. ICRS2012_10A_1.

Liu G, Matrosova LE, Penland C, Gledhill1 DK, Eakin CM, Webb RS, Christensen1 TRL, Heron SF, Morgan JA, Skirving WJ, Strong AE (2009) NOAA Coral Reef Watch Coral Bleaching Outlook System. Proc 11th Int Coral Reef Sym. 951-955.

Saha S, Moorthi S, Wu X, Wang J, Nadiga S, Patrick T, Pan H, Behringer D, Hou Y, Chuang H, Iredell M, Ek M, Meng J, Yang R, van den Dool H, Zhang Q, Wang W, Chen M (2012) The NCEP Climate Forecast System Version 2. Submitted to the Journal of Climate.

Saha S, Moorthi S, Pan H, Wu X, Wang J, Nadiga S, Tripp P, Kistler R, Woollen J, Behringer D, Liu H, Stokes D, Grumbine R, Gayno G, Wang J, Hou Y, Chuang H, Juang H, Sela J, Iredell M, Treadon R, Kleist D, Van Delst P, Keyser D, Derber J, Ek M, Meng J, Wei H, Yang R, Lord S, van den Dool H, Kumar A, Wang W, Long C, Chelliah M, Xue Y, Huang B, Schemm J, Wesl ey Ebisuzaki, Lin R, Xie P, Chen M, Zhou S, Higgins W, Zou C, Liu Q, Chen Y, Han Y, Cucurull L, Reynolds RW, Rutledge G, Goldberg M (2010) The NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 1015-1057. doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS3001.1.

Saha S, Nadiga S, Thiaw C, Wang J, Wang W, et al. (2006) The NCEP Climate Forecast System. J. Climate 19: 3483-3517.



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