Thermal History

Historical Variability
Global map of warm season variability

Stress Frequency
Global map of Stress Frequency

Onset Timing
Global map of onset timing

(Click on the maps to access the corresponding products.)

Click here to access a Google Earth file of the thermal history products.

Download data (netCDF):
Stress Frequency (357Mb) | Stress Onset (522Mb) | SST Variability (192Mb) | SST Trend (1.68Gb)
Climatology (851Mb) | Annual History (4.53Gb)

Product Description

Climate change threatens even the best-protected and most-remote reefs. Reef management in the face of climate change must incorporate how various factors (e.g., benthic structure, currents and local upwelling, connectivity, herbivore abundance, thermal history) affect coral and reef ecosystem resilience. Research over the last decade indicates that thermal history is among the most important factors influencing coral reef resilience.

With support from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, Coral Reef Watch has developed a variety of Thermal History metrics for coral reef management. Several metrics are calculated for reef-containing locations and adjacent waters and are arranged into three themes: Historical Variability, Stress Frequency, and Onset Timing.

These metrics were derived from Pathfinder v5.2 ~4km (1/24°) daily SST data for the period 1985-2012, provided by GHRSST and the US National Oceanographic Data Center. The Pathfinder project was supported in part by a grant from the NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) Program for satellites.