Forecasting Coral Bleaching


The Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA) group at the Bureau of Meteorology run a state-of-the-art system that can forecast seasonal to inter-seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies using a coupled ocean/atmosphere model. These forecasts complement the nowcasts that ReefTemp provides by indicating the likelihood of bleaching-inducing conditions months in advance.

Coral bleaching events begin with the build-up of climate conditions that warm sea temperatures, so the onset of higher-than-normal sea temperatures can be used to provide an early warning of high-risk periods. The POAMA group provides forecasts of anomalous SST for the GBR region one, two and three months in advance. To view these images and read more about the collaborative efforts of POAMA, GBRMPA and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research click on the logo below.

The ability to forecast conditions likely to cause bleaching is used by the Climate Change Response Programme at the GBRMPA to target monitoring efforts and raise public awareness about the causes of coral bleaching. For a more detailed explanation of ongoing collaborative research efforts, click here.