NOAA Coral Reef Watch Announcements

  • March 15, 2017:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch co-authors a Nature cover story on the severe coral bleaching in 2016 on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Click here for additional information.

  • December 6, 2016:
    A NOAA Coral Reef Watch paper in Scientific Reports examines temperature trends and variability of bleaching on global coral reefs. Click here for NOAA's feature about the paper.

  • October 24, 2016:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch launches a new 5-km Satellite Bleaching Alert Email System. Click here to subscribe or change your existing subscription.

  • September 30, 2016:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch releases a new version of its Light Stress Damage product suite.

  • June 30, 2016:
    Coral Reef Watch launches a new Reef Larval Connectivity product for Hawai'i.

  • April 30, 2016:
    New Coral Reef Watch-authored paper in Reef Encounter provides status update on the third documented global coral bleaching event (2014-17?) and makes an appeal for bleaching observations from the field.

  • April 14, 2016:
    Coral Reef Watch co-authored paper in Science says climate change will increase bleaching risk to the Great Barrier Reef more than originally thought.

  • March 7, 2016:
    2015 Annual Summaries of Bleaching Thermal Conditions for the U.S. NCRMP Jurisdictions now online.

  • February 23, 2016:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a joint NOAA-AGU press release at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting: El Niño Prolongs Longest Global Coral Bleaching Event.

  • February 19, 2016:
    Coral Reef Watch has just launched on social media. Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @coralreefwatch.

  • February 15, 2016:
    Two new Coral Reef Watch papers on marine disease products: Maynard et al. and Groner et al.

  • October 8, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a NOAA press release: NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event.

  • July 16, 2015:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch accounces its data call for 2014-present coral bleaching observations! To learn more or to submit your coral bleaching data to us, click here.

  • July 6, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a NOAA press release: Coral bleaching threat increasing in western Atlantic and Pacific oceans: Rising ocean temperatures threaten spread of major heat stress to Hawaiian reefs.

  • July 3, 2015:
    New paper in Science contrasts threats that two potential carbon dioxide emission pathways pose to marine ecosystems and the goods and services they provide.

  • June 26, 2015:
    New paper in Frontiers in Marine Science discusses projected climate change impacts on chemical, physical and biological processes in the oceans.

  • June 8, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a Climate.gov article: El Niño up coral bleaching threat in the Caribbean.

  • June 2, 2015:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) released its June 2015 Global Coral Bleaching Update, discussing predictions for the upcoming coral bleaching season, based on CRW's newly released 5-km satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring products and recently updated Four-Month Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook.

  • May 13, 2015:
    NOAA CRW released a new Daily 5-km Satellite 7-Day Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Trend product that provides information on the pace and direction of SST variation, and thus coral bleaching thermal stress, if present, over the past seven days.

  • May 5, 2015:
    A new paper in Nature Climate Change, co-authored by NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) staff, indicates there will be a significant increase in some coral diseases as the oceans warm.

  • March 31, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a NOAA/NESDIS News article: Preserving Our Coral Reefs: How NOAA's Polar-orbiting Satellite Data are used to Help Reef Conservation Around the World.

  • March 3, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a Climate.gov article: Warm oceans pose risk of global coral bleaching event in 2015.

  • February 17, 2015:
    Coral Reef Watch was featured in a NOAA press release: Warm ocean temperatures may mean major coral bleaching.

  • February 17, 2015:
    NOAA CRW is pleased to announce the release of its new Daily 5-km Satellite Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Monitoring Products (featuring new Regional Virtual Stations and new color palettes) and Version 3 of our Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook. We encourage users to look over the new products and color palettes and provide feedback to us (especially if you notice any 5-km images that are missing the new palettes). New products, color palettes, and web pages will be updated over the coming months.

  • November 20, 2014:
    New CRW publications in Remote Sensing and the Journal of Operational Oceanography discuss improvements to CRW's global Decision Support System for coral bleaching management to advance resource managers' and researchers' ability to monitor coral thermal stress in near-real-time.

  • September 10, 2014:
    CRW released new Regional Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Gauges using 5-km SST data for Florida, Hawaii, Eastern-NWHI, Western-NWHI, the Mariana Islands and Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Additional regions will be added as their Bleaching Thermal Stress Gauges are made available.

  • September 9, 2014:
    New CRW publications in Reef Encounter discuss our new global 5 km coral bleaching thermal stress products and the potential for a significant El Niño event in 2014-2015.

  • May 9, 2014:
    Higher spatial resolution is the improvement to NOAA CRW products most requested by its primary users (coral reef ecosystem managers and scientists). Today, CRW released an improved Version 2 experimental daily global 5 km coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite on the CRW web site. Version 2 products are based on NESDIS' operational daily global 5 km Geo-Polar Blended Nighttime-only sea surface temperature (SST) analysis, released in March 2013, and use a new 5 km climatology (available since April 2014) developed from the Pathfinder Version 5.2 daily 4 km SST.

  • May 7, 2014:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch releases new ENSO bleaching patterns web page to help local resource managers and other coral reef ecosystem stakeholders prepare for a potential significant El Niño event in 2014-2015. This web page will be updated regularly as the El Niño forecast changes.

  • April 3, 2014:
    Three new studies discuss recent NOAA considerations of corals proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. One on how climate change may lead to extinction of coral species, one on dealing with limited information, and one on how abundance may not help.

  • February 28, 2014:
    NOAA Coral Reef Watch and NOAA/NESDIS' Ocean Color Team are working closely with partners in the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) Watershed Working Group (WWG) to develop pilot satellite Ocean Color Products to assist management of Land-Based Sources of Pollution over Coral Reefs.

  • December 17, 2013:
    Two new studies discuss how climate change can lead to extinction of coral species and how abundance may not help.

  • November 27, 2013:
    New Google Earth tool shares updated projections for coral bleaching and ocean acidification in all global coral reef areas, based on an ensemble of climate models from the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report.

  • October 29, 2013:
    New study compares how adaptive processes could affect coral bleaching through 2100.

  • May 17, 2013:
    New Coral Reef Watch Publications: NOAA/NESDIS Technical Reports #142 and #143. Coral Reef Watch is pleased to announce the publication of two new technical reports in the NOAA/NESDIS Technical Report Series. NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 142, a product development plan for next-generation remote sensing products, is designed to assist the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program in identifying satellite remote sensing opportunities and planning for the application of these technologies to coral reef management. NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 143 provides an overview of Coral Reef Watch's operational twice-weekly 50-km satellite coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite, representing the program's heritage product suite and the core of Coral Reef Watch's Decision Support System for coral bleaching management for much of the last decade.

  • May 13, 2013:
    New: Current atmospheric average monthly CO2 concentration measured at the NOAA Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii is now displayed as a widget on our home page to remind everyone of the rise in heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Click on the CO2 widget to see details.

  • Oct 31, 2012:
    New Release: Satellite Coral Bleaching Light Stress Damage Product - Caribbean

  • Jul 5, 2012:
    New Release: 5 km Satellite Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Monitoring Products.

  • Jun 30, 2012:
    New Release: Probabilistic Seasonal Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook.

  • Apr 26, 2011:
    Wondering how to cite Coral Reef Watch products and methods in your publication? Please see our new citation recommendations.

  • Mar 31, 2011:
    We have expanded our Virtual Stations network. Thanks to suggestions from our user community, we added 36 new stations. Several errors have also been corrected. Finally, check out our new Virtual Stations Google Maps interface.

  • Jan 25, 2011:
    NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Technical Memo, "Satellite Monitoring of Reef Vulnerability in a Changing Climate" is now available for free download.

  • Jan 11, 2011:
    A new experimental product has been added. The Florida Keys 7-Day Bleaching Weather Forecast combines National Weather Service marine forecasts for cloud cover and wind speed into a weekly bleaching weather index.

  • Nov 15, 2010:
    A new article on the massive Caribbean bleaching in 2005, co-authored by CRW scientists and many collaborators throughout the region, has been published in the PLoS ONE journal. More details in a NOAA press release and on our publications page.

  • Oct 26, 2010:
    High thermal stress for bleaching is predicted to continue throughout the southern Caribbean into early November. There is a chance for future stress in the western Pacific Ocean including Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia that may later propagate into eastern Indonesia and northern Australia. See current outlook.

  • Sep 9, 2010:
    Reef Resilience Webinar: Bleaching Outlook with Dr. Mark Eakin of the NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program.

  • Sep 8, 2010:
    There is a high potential for bleaching throughout the Caribbean and a potential of bleaching in the western Pacific Ocean including Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia. See current outlook.

  • Aug 10, 2010:
    High potential for bleaching expected throughout the Caribbean and in the northwestern Pacific Ocean including Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. See current outlook.

  • Jun 8, 2010:
    Thermal stress now causing bleaching in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia expected to subside. High potential for bleaching developing in Caribbean and Marianas. See current outlook.

  • Mar 5, 2010:
    NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Technical Memo, "Determining Thermal Capacitance for Protected Area Network Design in Palau," is now available.

  • Dec 15, 2009:
    A new report, co-authored by CRW scientists, details the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean. The report was prepared for the Copenhagen COP-15 conference, and can be downloaded from our publications page.

  • Nov 24, 2009:
    CRW 2001-present monthly, year-to-date, and annual composite products are now available.

  • Oct 6, 2009:
    The new experimental enhanced 50km product suite provides data up to the coastline, covering more than 99% of coral reef pixels. A new climatology corrects some errors in the operational products.

  • Oct 6, 2009:
    Two new experimenal products have been added. Light Stress Damage combines light and temperature to predict coral bleaching stress. Coral Disease Risk Maps pinpoint regions where temperature conditions set up a risk of outbreaks.

  • Sep 15, 2009:
    Our Bleaching Outlook indicates that the potential for coral bleaching in the Caribbean in 2009 has lessened. It appears unlikely that bleaching will be severe along the Pacific coast of Mexico and islands in the equatorial central Pacific Ocean either.

  • Aug 20, 2009:
    Our Bleaching Outlook indicates a significant potential for high thermal stress in the Caribbean in 2009, with concern in the central Pacific and near Japan.

  • July 16, 2009:
    Our Bleaching Outlook indicates a significant potential for high thermal stress in the Caribbean in 2009, with low level stress in the central Pacific and near Japan.

  • June 29, 2009:
    We are in the process of switching to a new website design. You will notice gradual changes to some web pages as we make implement and test the new design. Please be patient!

  • Apr 23, 2009:
    Our new twice-weekly satellite global Bleaching Alert Area Product is now available.

  • Dec 1, 2008:
    We have released our new Ocean Acidification Product Suite for the Caribbean. Graphs, data, maps, and animations are available from our Experimental Products page. See the NOAA press release for more details.

  • Dec 1, 2008:
    Our current Coral Bleaching Outlook (map and animation) has been updated to include a message about the potential threat for bleaching around Australia, Papua-New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

  • Oct 9, 2008:
    We have expanded our network of Virtual Stations from 24 to 190 locations worldwide. Graphs, data, and e-mail alerts are available from our Experimental Products page. See the NOAA press release for more details.

  • Sept 2, 2008:
    Our current Coral Bleaching Outlook map and animation are now available in the new version (V3.3) of our Google Earth product suite. Please check out our Google Earth product website for detail.

  • Aug 21, 2008:
    The NOAA Coral Reef Watch bleaching forecast system indicates that there will be some bleaching across the Caribbean this year, especially in the Windward Islands. Some bleaching is expected in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and in the western Pacific from Papua-New Guinea to Japan. See the experimental seasonal bleaching outlook page for more details.

  • Jul 10, 2008:
    A new NOAA coral bleaching prediction system indicates that there will be some bleaching in the Caribbean later this year, but bleaching will probably not be severe. There is a potential for widespread bleaching in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and some bleaching along the western Pacific around Papua-New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan. See the NOAA press release or the experimental seasonal bleaching outlook page for more details.

  • Feb 12, 2008:
    The list of our Coral Bleaching Virtual Stations has expended from its original 24 reef sites to 57 reef sites in our near-real-time Google Earth Coral Bleaching Monitoring product.

  • December 13, 2007:
    17 coral scientists from 8 nations, including NOAA Coral Reef Watch coordinator Mark Eakin, say corals could begin to disappear in 50 to 75 years due to warming temperatures and increasing ocean acidification caused by carbon dioxide emissions. The findings of the GEF/World Bank group were published as the cover story in the peer-reviewed journal Science. See the NOAA press release for more details.

  • October 30, 2007:
    Our Virtual Station network is expanding! Thirty-six new stations, from Aruba to Zanzibar, are now available on the experimental products page. Time series charts and data, regional images, and Satellite Bleaching Alert e-mails are available for these experimental stations.

  • June 12, 2007:
    The time series data of CRW operational twice-weekly near-real-time SST, SST anomaly, Bleaching HotSpot, and Bleaching Degree Heating Weeks for 24 selected reef sites (CRW's virtual stations) around the globe are now available.

  • May 17, 2007:
    The OPeNDAP service that serves our HDF data for direct network link from CoastWatch software tool (CDAT) has not been available due to a technical problem. The time of availability remains to be determined. The HDF data are continuously available via our FTP and HTTP servers.

  • May 3, 2007:
    Our operational twice-weekly near-real-time satellite coral bleaching monitoring products are now updated during the mornings (U.S. Eastern Time) of every Monday and Thursday. Click here to see detail.

  • Apr 16, 2007:
    Version 0.2 of experimental satellite Doldrums monitoring product is now available