Publication Repository

A comparison of the 1998 and 2002 coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef: spatial correlation, patterns, and predictions

Show simple item record

dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor National Oceanic Atmospheric Admin (noaa) - Usa
dc.contributor Off Res & Applciat
dc.contributor Natl Ocean & Atmospher Adm
dc.contributor Cooperat Res Ctr Great Barrier Reef World Heritag
dc.contributor Natl Environm Satellite Data & Informat Serv
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en SKIRVING, WJ BERKELMANS, R DE'ATH, G KININMONTH, S 2013-02-28T06:52:24Z 2013-02-28T06:52:24Z 2017-03-21T01:25:46Z 2019-05-09T01:10:45Z 2017-03-21T01:25:46Z 2013-02-28T06:52:24Z 2013-02-28T06:52:24Z 2019-05-09T01:10:45Z 2004-04-01
dc.identifier 6694 en
dc.identifier.citation Berkelmans R, De'ath AG, Kininmonth SJ and Skirving WJ (2004) A comparison of the 1998 and 2002 coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef: spatial correlation patterns, and predictions. Coral Reefs. 23: 74-83. en
dc.identifier.issn 0722-4028
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract Detailed mapping of coral bleaching events provides an opportunity to examine spatial patterns in bleaching over scales of 10 s to 1,000 s of km and the spatial correlation between sea surface temperature (SST) and bleaching. We present data for two large-scale (2,000 km) bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR): one from 1998 and another from 2002, both mapped by aerial survey methods. We examined a wide range of satellite-derived SST variables to determine which one best correlated with the observed bleaching patterns. We found that the maximum SST occurring over any 3-day period (max3d) during the bleaching season predicted bleaching better than anomaly-based SST variables and that short averaging periods (3-6 days) predicted bleaching better than longer averaging periods. Short periods of high temperature are therefore highly stressful to corals and result in highly predictable bleaching patterns. Max3d SST predicted the presence/absence of bleaching with an accuracy of 73.2%. Large-scale (GBR-wide) spatial patterns of bleaching were similar between 1998 and 2002 with more inshore reefs bleached compared to offshore reefs. Spatial change in patterns of bleaching occurred at scales of similar to10 s km, indicating that reefs bleach (or not) in spatial clusters, possibly due to local weather patterns, oceanographic conditions, or both. Approximately 42% of reefs bleached to some extent in 1998 with similar to18% strongly bleached, while in 2002, similar to54% of reefs bleached to some extent with similar to18% strongly bleached. These statistics and the fact that nearly twice as many offshore reefs bleached in 2002 compared to 1998 (41 vs. 21%, respectively) makes the 2002 event the worst bleaching event on record for the GBR. Modeling of the relationship between bleaching and max3d SST indicates that a 1 degreesC increase would increase the bleaching occurrence of reefs from 50% (approximate occurrence in 1998 and 2002) to 82%, while a 2 degreesC increase would increase the occurrence to 97% and a 3 degreesC increase to 100%. These results suggest that coral reefs are profoundly sensitive to even modest increases in temperature and, in the absence of acclimatization/adaptation, are likely to suffer large declines under mid-range International Panel for Climate Change predictions by 2050.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Coral Reefs - pages: 23: 74-83 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.relation.uri en
dc.subject Coral Bleaching
dc.subject Sea-surface Temperatures
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Climate Change
dc.subject Spatial Correlation
dc.subject Great Barrier Reef
dc.subject Sea-surface Temperature
dc.title A comparison of the 1998 and 2002 coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef: spatial correlation, patterns, and predictions
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s00338-003-0353-y
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000220937200008

Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search Publication


My Account