NESP TWQ Round 5 - Project 5.7 - Assessment and communication of the spatial variability in bleaching severity throughout the Great Barrier Reef following back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 & 2017

Region map

This desktop analysis of existing bleaching observations and data delivered three key outcomes:

  1. a quantitative assessment of the spatial variability of severe coral bleaching and mortality throughout the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) on regional and within individual reef scales,
  2. a quantitative comparison of bleaching observations from a range of observers AIMS, GBRMPA, JCU Centre of Excellence and the GBRMPA COTS control team (implemented by AMPTO) which used a variety of methods and spatial assessments
  3. clear science communication and engagement with key stakeholder groups (tourist operators, reef managers and media outlets) in an effort to improve the communication and understanding of the variability and the spatial impacts of coral bleaching throughout the GBR.

This project extended on temperature logger analysis performed in NESP TWQ Project 4.2.

NESP TWQ Project Page 5.7


20 October 2021

This dataset is a compilation of available ocean temperature data, aerial and in-water bleaching observations during the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef in order to estimate the total reef area impacted by coral bleaching and thermal heat stress. A total of 982 reefs (56.8% reef area of the GBR) were surveyed in 2016 and 781 reefs (50.9% reef area of the GBR) surveyed in 2017.