PROJECTS

Current ReefSense Projects

WaveFoRCE
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The Wave-driven Flood-forecasting on Reef-lined Coasts Early warning system (WaveFoRCE) seeks to provide wave-driven flood forecasts (i.e. all types of marine flooding except tsunamis) from the present to 180 hours (7.5 days) into the future at a 3 to 6 hour interval, with the forecasts being updated once every 6 hours. This means that every six hours a new set of forecasts will be generated that provide the user with a set of 61 forecasts along all coral reef-lined coasts at 200 metre intervals.

WaveFoRCE has been designed so as to allow countries to run their own version of the forecasts if they choose. User input into the development and implementation of WaveFoRCE is a feature of this project

Team Members:  ReefSense, Deltares, USGS, NOAA, CSIRO, SPC, GEO Blue Planet
Project Status: 

Scientific development is ongoing; demonstration completed, additional demonstrations underway; wide spread implementation is yet to be funded. Project funding to date has come from USGS, Deltares and NOAA STAR

ReefSense Sponsor:

Initially ReefSense participation in the development of WaveFoRCE was via funding from the NOAA/NESDIS Ocean Remote Sensing Program. Currently ReefSense participation in the development of WaveFoRCE is self funded.

CoralTemp version 4.0
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CoralTemp is a satellite sea surface temperature (SST) product developed by ReefSense as a NOAA Coral Reef Watch product, for use by the global coral community. It is specifically designed for use in the production of SST anomalies with the use of long-term climatologies. The product is global, gap free and has a temporal scale of one day and a spatial scale of 0.05 degrees (approx. 5km). The current version of CoralTemp (version 3.1) extends from 1985 to the present (i.e. being added to in near-real-time) and has a slight cool bias in the early years. This project is designed to eliminate the bias and to extend the dataset to cover 1981 to the present.

Team Members:  ReefSense, NOAA, University of Reading, UK Met Office
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Light Stress Damage Product
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Scientists have known for some time that light is an extremely important component of coral bleaching. For this reason, ReefSense has been leading an effort to develop the NOAA Coral Reef Watch Light Stress Damage satellite product. It combines light in the form of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) with sea surface temperature (SST) in an attempt to provide a satellite product with an improved prediction of coral bleaching, when compared with the existing SST-based coral bleaching prediction products such as NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Week (DHW) product.

This project is being underpinned by significant amounts of laboratory-based experiments, which were and are being conducted at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Penn State University, and the University of Queensland.

Team Members:  ReefSense, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Penn State University, University of Queensland
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and ReefSense

Satellite Heat Stress Products Skill Scores
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With the help of a number of partner organisations, especially the University of British Columbia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, ReefSense maintains a very large database of coral bleaching survey data for NOAA Coral Reef Watch. These data often have significant levels of error and the errors are not spatially or temporally consistent. Nevertheless, they comprise the best dataset available to test satellite-based heat stress products that are tuned to predict coral bleaching.

To accomplish this, ReefSense are developing a series of skill scores that allow the performance of heat stress products to be compared with the coral bleaching dataset. In doing so, we provide an objective "skill score" that can be compared with another product's "skill score", allowing the identification of the product with the best bleaching predictions for use with coral reef conservation and management.

Team Members:  ReefSense, NOAA Coral Reef Watch, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Coral Bleaching from 1950 to 2099
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ReefSense have recently pioneered a technique that allows for downscaling of 1 x 1 degree resolution climate model data into 0.05 x 0.05 degree resolution products. In particular, this technique works every well on NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Week (DHW) product, used by most scientists to predict coral bleaching. This downscaling allows for the development of a dataset that describes daily heat stress-related mass coral bleaching for various carbon emissions scenarios at a spatial resolution of approx. 5 km, for the period 1950 to 2099. ReefSense is working with the University of Exeter, UK to produce a global dataset for use in a collaborative study of future coral bleaching that will include ReefSense, the University of Exeter and the University of Queensland. This dataset will be made available for all researchers to use once complete.

Team members:  ReefSense, University of Exeter, University of Queensland
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

ReefSense and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Coral Disease Outbreak Risk Product Suite
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Coral disease is the number one threat to coral reefs in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico regions, and is a growing threat for coral reefs in other regions of the world. ReefSense formulated a method for using satellite data to enable the prediction of coral disease outbreaks. With the assistance of James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, who each contributed coral disease survey data, ReefSense and NOAA Coral Reef Watch scientists developed a series of metrics using satellite data, that when combined were able to provide coral reef managers with warnings of impending disease outbreaks. The algorithm works on the premise that adverse environmental conditions can contribute to a reduction in pathogen density during the winter and that summer-time coral stress can contribute to corals' susceptibility to being impacted by a disease. The product has been implemented for White Syndrome and covers the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands.

Team Members:  ReefSense, NOAA Coral Reef Watch, James Cook University, Australian Institute of Marine Science
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

GHRSST Coral Heat Stress User Requirements Task Team
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The Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) is an open international science group that promotes best practice for the application of satellites for monitoring sea surface temperature (SST). The group is comprised of all major satellite agencies throughout the world, including, but not limited to NASA, ESA, NOAA, UMETSAT, UK Met Office, Australian BoM, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), etc. GHRSST is part of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) an intergovernmental committee that ensures international coordination of civil space-based Earth observation.

In light of its world-leading expertise on the use of satellites to quantify heat stress leading to coral bleaching, ReefSense (representing NOAA Coral Reef Watch) was invited to lead the GHRSST Coral Heat Stress User Requirements Task Team. The first version of the user requirements was presented at the GHRSST international meeting in June of 2020 and was well received by the satellite community.

Team Members:  ReefSense, NOAA Coral Reef Watch, NOAA STAR, Australian Institute of Marine Science, University of Reading,
           UK Met Office, University of British Columbia, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, University of Queensland, James Cook University
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and ReefSense

Heat Stress Product Suite version 4.0
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ReefSense is currently working on the most significant upgrade to the NOAA Coral Reef Watch heat stress product suite in its 20-year lifespan. Although the data inputs have changed significantly over the years, the algorithms underpinning the heat stress product suite have not. ReefSense is currently reviewing the algorithms with a view to improving many aspects. Improvements under consideration include but are not limited to, a new methodology  to create an equivalent to the Maximum Monthly Mean (MMM) SST climatology that will improve the prediction of heat stress for multiple locations known to have problem MMM values. ReefSense will improve the way in which the anomalies are summed will be improved and for the first time, a recovery term will be utilised so as to allow the Degree Heating Week (DHW) totals to be reduced in a more appropriate manner as heat stress diminishes at the end of an event. This will also allow the 12 week accumulation window to be removed. ReefSense will also lead the development of a coral mortality product for potential inclusion in a future version of the heat stress product suite.

Team Members:  ReefSense, University of Queensland, University of Newcastle, Penn State University, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
Project Status: 

Ongoing

ReefSense Sponsor:

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and ReefSense