Daily Global 5km Satellite Coral Bleaching Heat Stress Alert Area
(Version 3.1, released August 1, 2018)
Featuring New, Enhanced Image Style (Click here to switch to the original image style)
Global Bleaching Alert Area 7-Day Maximum image
Current Daily Variables:  Alert Area (7-day max) 
Regional Images:  Tropics | Global | East | West | Pac. | Ind. | S.Atl. | Coral Triangle | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
Animations (30d):  Tropics | Global | East | West | Pac. | Ind. | S.Atl. | Coral Triangle | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
Animations (90d):  Tropics | Global | East | West | Pac. | Ind. | S.Atl. | Coral Triangle | Caribbean | Florida | Hawaii | GBR
Year-to-date Maximum: -----
Year-to-date Minimum: ----- ----- ----- -----
Year-to-date Mean: ----- ----- ----- -----

Click on map above to zoom to small 60 x 40-degree tiles; use drop-down menu below to view larger 60 x 40-degree tiles.     
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60 x 40-degree tiles (arranged by east/west hemispheres and low/high latitudes, updated daily)




The NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) daily global 5km satellite Bleaching Alert Area (7-day maximum) product presented here outlines the areas where coral bleaching heat stress currently reaches various levels, based on our satellite sea surface temperature (SST) monitoring.

SST variability is often considerably higher at the much finer 5km spatial and daily temporal resolutions, when compared with CRW's heritage twice-weekly 50km (0.5-degree) coral bleaching heat stress monitoring products. Due to resulting day-to-day fluctuations between stress levels in highly-variable locations, the single-day 5km Bleaching Alert Area product does not consistently and adequately identify potentially harmful heat stress levels, especially with regard to accumulated heat stress impacts. Rather than requiring users to examine the single-day 5km Bleaching Alert Area product over several days, a 7-day maximum Bleaching Alert Area composite product, updated daily, was introduced in the Version 2 product suite and is maintained here in Version 3.1. (Evolution of CRW's daily global 5km product suites can be found here.) This 7-day composite product shows the maximum stress level that a satellite pixel has experienced during the most recent seven (7) consecutive days. Data and images are dated on the last day of the 7-day period. Notably, it is compatible with CRW's heritage twice-weekly global 50km Bleaching Alert Area product, as the 50km Bleaching Alert Area is based on a half-week (3 or 4 days) composite of 50km SSTs (but with much less SST variability due to its much coarser spatial resolution).

Even though the daily global 5km Bleaching Alert Area (7-day maximum) composite product is presented here, the coral bleaching heat stress levels defined in the table below are for the daily global single-day 5km Bleaching Alert Area product. The heat stress level at a 5km satellite data grid, on any day, is based on CRW's daily global 5km Coral Bleaching HotSpot and Degree Heating Week (DHW) products for that day. The daily global 5km Bleaching Alert Area (7-day maximum) composite product therefore is the maximum value of the seven, consecutive, daily global single-day 5km Bleaching Alert Area values in the data grid that end on the date shown in the image.

Stress Level
    Definition
    Potential Bleaching Intensity
No Stress
Bleaching Watch
Bleaching Warning
Bleaching Alert Level 1
Bleaching Alert Level 2
    HotSpot <= 0
0 < HotSpot < 1
1 <= HotSpot and 0 < DHW < 4
1 <= HotSpot and 4 <= DHW < 8
1 <= HotSpot and 8 <= DHW
    No Bleaching
 
Possible Bleaching
Significant Bleaching Likely
Severe Bleaching and Significant Mortality Likely

Note that in the Bleaching Alert Area (7-Day Maximum) composite product, locations with a status of No Stress or Bleaching Watch, for a 7-day time period, may still have been exposed to recent heat stress, including in the days immediately preceding the 7-day period under evaluation. The reason is that the Bleaching Alert Area (7-Day Maximum) composite product classifies the heat stress condition for a specified 7-day period only -- and that heat stress condition (level) is determined by the seven, most-recent daily value pairs of CRW's v3.1 daily global 5km Coral Bleaching HotSpot and DHW. So if, during the specified 7-day period being evaluated, the seven Coral Bleaching HotSpot values (within the seven daily pairs of Coral Bleaching HotSpot/DHW) were all zero, this would indicate the absence of active heat stress. For that reason, a No Stress level would be assigned, and any heat stress experienced during the 11 weeks preceding the 7-day period would not be examined, as corals should be in a recovery state. If, during the specified 7-day period being evaluated, any of the seven Coral Bleaching HotSpot values (within the seven daily Coral Bleaching HotSpot/DHW pairs) was greater than zero, but below the bleaching threshold for accumulating DHWs, this would indicate that there is currently insufficient heat stress to actively cause or worsen visible bleaching. For this reason, none of the seven daily DHW values (within the seven daily Coral Bleaching HotSpot/DHW pairs) would be examined; a Bleaching Watch level would be assigned; and any recently-accumulated DHWs greater than zero, that occurred within the 11 weeks preceding the 7-day period, would not be used to determine the current heat stress level. With that said, if on any future day, the Coral Bleaching HotSpots resurrected, and were greater than the threshold for accumulating DHWs, then recent heat stress exposure during the entire past 12 weeks (84 days) would be evaluated. This means all daily Coral Bleaching HotSpot values that exceeded the bleaching threshold during the past 12 weeks would be accumulated to calculate the DHWs and determine the Bleaching Alert Area (7-Day Maximum) composite product heat stress level. As a result, a future heat stress level could jump from No Stress or Bleaching Watch to any of the higher stress levels, as the calculation would again be dependent on recent heat stress exposure during the entire last 12 weeks. Please refer to CRW's daily global 5km DHW product for more information.

This product is updated each afternoon at about 13:30 U.S. Eastern Time.

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