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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/rs8010012

Performance Evaluation of CRW Reef-Scale and Broad-Scale SST-Based Coral Monitoring Products in Fringing Reef Systems of Tobago

1
Environmental Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
2
Coral Reef Watch, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, College Park, MD 20740, USA
3
Global Science and Technology, Inc., Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA
4
Marine Geophysical Laboratory, Physics Department, College of Science, Technology and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia
5
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Circular Road, Trinidad and Tobago
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Stuart Phinn, Chris Roelfsema, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad Thenkabail
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Coral Reef Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3212 KB, uploaded 24 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) is used to monitor coral bleaching through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW) Decision Support System (DSS). Since 2000, a broad-scale 50 km SST was used to monitor thermal stress for coral reefs globally. However, some discrepancies were noted when applied to small-scale fringing coral reefs. To address this, CRW created a new DSS, specifically targeted at or near reef scales. Here, we evaluated the new reef-scale (5 km resolution) products using in situ temperature data and coral bleaching surveys which were also compared with the heritage broad-scale (50 km) for three reefs (Buccoo Reef, Culloden and Speyside) of the southern Caribbean island of Tobago. Seasonal and annual biases indicated the new 5 km SST generally represents the conditions at these reefs more accurately and more consistently than the 50 km SST. Consistency between satellite and in situ temperature data influences the performance of anomaly-based predictions of bleaching: the 5 km DHW product showed better consistency with bleaching observations than the 50 km product. These results are the first to demonstrate the improvement of the 5 km products over the 50 km predecessors and support their use in monitoring thermal stress of reefs in the southern Caribbean. View Full-Text
Keywords: coral reefs; coral bleaching; sea surface temperature (SST); satellite remote sensing; NOAA Coral Reef Watch; Tobago; Caribbean coral reefs; coral bleaching; sea surface temperature (SST); satellite remote sensing; NOAA Coral Reef Watch; Tobago; Caribbean
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mohammed, S.S.; Heron, S.F.; Mahabir, R.; Clarke, R.M. Performance Evaluation of CRW Reef-Scale and Broad-Scale SST-Based Coral Monitoring Products in Fringing Reef Systems of Tobago. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 12.

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