Satellites & Bleaching

5km Satellite Bleaching Alert (SBA) Email System

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We recognize that it is not always possible for coral reef managers and scientists to visit the NOAA CRW website to obtain updated information about environmental conditions on their reefs. For this reason, we designed an automated Satellite Bleaching Alert (SBA) Email System to warn users when the heat stress rises to levels dangerous to corals in their area. This convenient data delivery system allows critical information about coral bleaching heat stress to reach a user's email account immediately, without the user having to manually check the CRW website.

Originally offered for the heritage 50km Virtual Stations, the SBA Email System was upgraded in October 2016 to provide 5km satellite data for the 214 Regional Virtual Stations. All users can receive free, automated emails to alert them to environmental conditions close to their reefs of interest. Users also have the option to sign-up to receive alerts for all available 5km Regional Virtual Station sites, to stay abreast of how coral bleaching heat stress is impacting reefs worldwide.

Twice a week, on Monday and Thursday afternoon (U.S. Eastern Time), the system examines the Bleaching Alert Area heat stress level at each 5km Regional Virtual Station for any change from the previous examination date. The automated system sends an email to relevant subscribers only for those Regional Virtual Stations that experienced changes.

Let's take a look at an example SBA email, issued July 27, 2020 (which, as you learned earlier in the tutorial, is based on data from the previous day, July 26):

example e-mail

The first part of the email gives the current heat stress level at multiple 5km Regional Virtual Stations in the Atlantic Ocean. These are the Stations that experienced a change in their Bleaching Alert Area (7-day maximum) composite value (a rolling composite value that is determined by the Daily Coral Bleaching HotSpot and Daily Degree Heating Week pair for each Regional Virtual Station).

Further down in the email, we provide additional information, for each of the Stations listed that is found on the 5km Regional Virtual Stations page on the CRW website. This includes links to time series graphs, regional images, and a short history of previous bleaching alerts issued for each Regional Virtual Station in the email.

example e-mail

To sign up for the free, automated SBA email alerts for our 5km Regional Virtual Stations, click here. Once a subscription is added to the SBA email system, a user can view and alter Station selection(s) or unsubscribe from the email list through the same portal. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from the automated SBA email system, please visit the unsubscription page.

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