Earth  ID: 3343

MODIS Sea Surface Temperature Data Shows Increased Temperatures in Southern Great Barrier Reef

Coral bleaching may be one of the greatest threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Coral bleaching is a stress response that often occurs when the surrounding waters become too warm for the corals. In the stressful situation, the corals expel their brownish zooxanthellae and lose their color. Zooxanthellae are unicellular yellow-brown algae that make it possible for the corals to grow and reproduce quickly enough to create reefs. Without the zooxanthellae, the coral cannot obtain sufficient nourishment. If conditions remain difficult, the corals may die. Major coral bleaching incidents on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 and 2002 led to widespread death of corals in some areas. Researchers in the Barrier reef of Australia are using NASA's resources to help identify troubled coral. Currently, the most severe coral bleaching occurs over inshore reefs where the Sea Surface Temperatures are showing increased temperatures.

Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Aqua/MODIS/Sea Surface Temperature
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

Dates of Data Used:
2005-09-18, 2006-02-20

This item is part of this series:
Coral Bleaching

DLESE >> Physical oceanography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry/Carbon and Hydrocarbon Compounds >> Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Meteorological Hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Ocean Temperature >> Sea Surface Temperature
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/Engineering >> Visible Wavelengths >> Visible Imagery
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version