The new NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) enhanced satellite 50 km (E-50) twice-weekly coral bleaching monitoring product suite presented here is an improved version of its current operational 50 km monitoring product suite that includes sea surface temperature (SST), SST anomaly, HotSpot, Degree Heating Weeks (DHW), and Bleaching Alert Area products. The E-50 provides two major improvements over the current operational 50 km product suite:
Full Coastal Coverage: The E-50 produces the full CRW suite of satellite-based
coral bleaching products data for areas closer to the coast globally. This is
achieved through the use of a higher-resolution land mask and retrieval of 4km
satellite data in coastal regions excluded from analysis by the operational land mask.
The availability of satellite data for the areas along the coast greatly improves
our monitoring of coral reefs, the majority of which occur along coasts.
- Improved Climatology: The HotSpot, DHW, and Bleaching Alert Area products are very sensitive to errors in the climatology (long-term average conditions) used in the analysis. The E-50 climatology improves the overall accuracy of the CRW products by using the 1985-2006 Version 5.0 Pathfinder 4 km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) SSTs, to address known errors in the climatology used in the operational 50 km product suite. These errors caused overestimation of bleaching thermal stress in certain areas, such as the regions around Gulf of Panama and Gulf of Oman.
Please follow this link to see detailed description of the improvement.
This enhanced product suite was launched in September 2009 and currently is an experimental product suite that we are testing and evaluating. Some changes to this product suite can be expected over the next couple of years. CRW will continue to produce the current operational product suite. There will be some differences between the two product suites in certain areas and user discretion is advised. The expectation is that the enhanced 50 km product suite will be more accurate in general, especially in the regions around Gulf of Panama and Gulf of Oman.
This product is updated twice-weekly on every Monday and Thursday, U.S. Eastern Time, as are the original operational products. The product description and algorithm provided in CRW's methodology webpage apply to the enhanced products presented on this web page with the exception of the improved land mask and climatologies detailed in the E-50 product description.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch has provided global satellite near-real-time 50 km (0.5 by 0.5 degree spatial resolution) monitoring of the thermal stress that causes mass coral bleaching to the U.S. and international coral reef communities since 1997. Our operational monitoring products, including HotSpot and Degree Heating Week (DHW), derived from our operational POES AVHRR nighttime SST have been very successful in detecting and monitoring the thermal stress typically associated with mass coral bleaching.