Satellites & Bleaching

50km Coral Bleaching HotSpot

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satellite coral bleaching HotSpots

Shown here is an example 50km Coral Bleaching HotSpot map for the Eastern Hemisphere.

Coral Reef Watch's 50km Coral Bleaching HotSpot product highlights those areas around the world where the SST is above the maximum monthly mean (MMM) observed by NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites.

All white areas in the ocean are at or below the MMM temperature. Light purple means that the SST is above the MMM but still below the bleaching threshold. Yellow to red regions are at or above the bleaching threshold (HotSpot ≥ 1°C), and corals in those areas are experiencing heat stress that leads to bleaching. The values show the number of degrees Celsius above the MMM.

Coral Bleaching HotSpot information is available for all 50km Virtual Station sites using the time series graphs. A HotSpot is identified any time the SST goes above the MMM (dashed light-blue line). An example HotSpot is highlighted in orange below:

time series graph

The HotSpot concept was developed based on earlier work by Goreau & Hayes (1994) and Montgomery & Strong (1995).

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