Home > Browse by Themes > Oceanography > Summer 2011/12 sea surface temperature summary for Western Australia

Summer 2011/12 sea surface temperature summary for Western Australia


Posted on 12 September 2012

A number of online sea surface temperature SST products are available that provide a seasonal outlook of the likelihood bleaching will occur, and tools that enable near-real time monitoring of temperature stress during the summer months.  Example images from these online SST products have been extracted for Western Australia to provide a digital archived SST summary for the summer 2011/12 and to demonstrate how they can be used in a regional context.

The information has been provided for 14 locations in Western Australia which are based on the NOAA Coral Reef Watch virtual stations.

 

POAMA SST anomalies (SST+) forecasts

POAMA provides a seasonal outlook ahead in time (forecasts) and SST+ are calculated as the difference between SST values and the monthly long term mean SST.  

 

click image for larger image view

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

Figure 1.  Monthly POAMA SST+ forecast for Western Australia - January to June 2012.  Data extracted and reworked from http://poama.bom.gov.au/gearth/gearth.shtml.

 

NOAA's Coral Reef Watch degree heating weeks (DHW)

DHWs is an accumulation of any temperature anomalies greater than 1°C over a 12-week window, which shows how stressful conditions have been for corals in the last three months.  Past observations indicate that there is a correlation with bleached corals when DHW values of 4°C-weeks have been reached.  By the time DHW values reach 8°C-weeks, widespread bleaching is likely and some mortality can be expected.

Table 1.  Monthly DHW (values for beginning of each month) for Western Australia - January to June 2012.  Data extracted and reworked from http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/vs/index.html and http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/vs_added/vs_wa_list_data.html.

  Beginning January Beginning February Beginning March Beginning April Beginning May Beginning June
Ashmore Reef 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scott Reef 0 0 0 0 0 0
Montgomery Reef 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rowley Shoals 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dampier Archipelago 0 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0
Montebello Islands 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ningaloo 0 0 1.2 3.7 3.7 1.2
Coral Bay 0 1.2 2.9 10.3 11.4 7.9
Shark Bay 0 1.6 6.0 13.4 16.4 11.7
Houtman Abrolhos 0 2.8 8.7 13.4 9.4 2.2
Jurien Bay 0 4.1 9.4 16.9 15.3 7.5
Marmion 0 3.9 9.5 17.2 15.5 8.1
Shoalwater Islands 0 3.3 6.9 12.2 12.6 6.8
Ngari Capes 0 5.6 13.7 23.9 24.0 17.0

 

ReefTemp SST anomalies (SST+)

ReefTemp’s SST+ is calculated for each grid cell as the number of °C above the long-term average temperature observed for that month.

 

click image for larger image view

26 January 2012

13 February 2012

19 March 2012

31 March 2012

12 April 2012

24 April 2012

Figure 2.  Composite ReefTemp SST+ for Western Australia - selected dates January to April 2012.  Data extracted and reworked from http://www.cmar.csiro.au/remotesensing/reeftemp/web/ReefTemp_application.htm.

 

ReefTemp degree heating days (DHD)

One DHD is calculated as 1°C above the local long-term average temperature for one day.  The DHD index within ReefTemp is activated on 1 December and displays the number of DHDs accumulated within the period 1 December to 31 March.  Predictive values have been established from past Great Barrier Reef bleaching events - see Forecasting coral bleaching events in Western Australia - but these remain indicative and have not been tested for Western Australia reefs.

 

click image for larger image view

26 January 2012

13 February 2012

19 March 2012

31 March 2012

12 April 2012

24 April 2012

Figure 3.  Composite ReefTemp DHD for Western Australia - selected dates January to April 2012.  Data extracted and reworked from http://www.cmar.csiro.au/remotesensing/reeftemp/web/ReefTemp_application.htm.

For more information on the technical information and methodology of the SST products, visit POAMA, CRW, and ReefTemp.

For more information of how these SST products are integrated into a more formal operational monitoring and response framework, visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Coral Bleaching Response Plan.

 


Related content