Map Shows Warming Waters Where Coral Reefs Could Be Under Threat - 17/06/2019

The ocean is increasingly becoming too hot to handle and coral reefs are suffering as a result, according to a recent publication on Mongabay, a website with news and inspiration from nature's frontline. Above-normal sea surface temperatures due to human-induced climate change are creating conditions that are stressing coral reefs, causing them to bleach, a phenomenon by which heat-stressed corals are forced to expel the symbiotic algae that provide them with nutrition, leaving them weak and ghostly white. If the heat stress persists for too long, reefs may never recover, and even die. A new interactive map has been made to help identify, in near-real-time, where the coral reefs in the most danger are.

Coral Reef Watch Program

The Coral Reefs at Risk of Bleaching Operations Dashboard, launched by Esri, a company that creates GIS and mapping software products, relies on data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch program, a decades-old program that uses satellites to measure average daily sea surface temperatures and predict bleaching-level heat stress. "While the satellite data itself isn’t new, the way the data is displayed is novel and more user-friendly," said Dan Pisut, who leads Esri’s Living Atlas of the World Environment, a collection of environment-related geographic information.

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Last updated: 28/08/2020