Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Raymond L. Hayes, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
Monthly average NOAA satellite-derived Sea Surface Temperature (SST) values from 1982-2003 and their long term trends are presented for sixteen US affiliated Pacific Islands: Midway, Johnson, Maui, Tutuila, Bikini, Enewetak, Kwajalein, Majuro, Kapingamarangi, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Palau, Guam, Saipan, and Palmyra from the Global Coral Reef Alliance Long Term Global Coral Reef Sea Surface Temperature Database.
These data were compiled from NOAA data and are part of a worldwide database covering every major reef area of the world. All sites show clear upward trends in mean temperature but these differ from place to place due to regional trends in ocean circulation. Also very noticeable is a strong cooling event in 1982, especially in some northern Hemisphere sites, cause by stratospheric aerosol plume from the eruption of the El Chichon volcano, and a much smaller one at some sites from the Pinatubo eruption in 1991. The upward trends at all sites remain when those years and when El Nino years are removed from the data (for more details see references). The raw data trend equations are shown on each graph where x is time in months.
For much more information on methods, results, and analysis see:
1. T. J. Goreau, R. L. Hayes, J. W. Clark, D. J. Basta, & C. N. Robertson, 1993, Elevated sea surface temperatures correlate with Caribbean coral reef bleaching, p. 225-255 in R. A. Geyer (Ed.), A GLOBAL WARMING FORUM: SCIENTIFIC, ECONOMIC, AND LEGAL OVERVIEW, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
2. T. J. Goreau, & R. L. Hayes, 1994, Coral bleaching and ocean “hot spots”, AMBIO, 23: 176-180.
3. T. J. Goreau & R. L. Hayes, 1995, A survey of coral reef bleaching in the South Central Pacific during 1994: Report to the International Coral Reef Initiative, 201p. (Book), GLOBAL CORAL REEF ALLIANCE, Chappaqua, New York.
4. T. J. Goreau, R. L. Hayes, & A. C. Strong, 1997, Tracking South Pacific coral reef bleaching by satellite and field observations, PROC. 8TH INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF SYMPOSIUM 2: 1491-1494
5. T. J. Goreau & R. L. Hayes, 2005, Monitoring and calibrating sea surface temperature anomalies with satellite and in-situ data to study effects of weather extremes and climate changes on coral reefs, WORLD RESOURCE REVIEW, 17: 242-252
6. T.J. Goreau, & R.L. Hayes, 2005, Global coral reef bleaching and sea surface temperature trends from satellite-derived Hotspot analysis, WORLD RESOURCE REVIEW, 17: 254-293
7. T.J. Goreau R.L. Hayes, & D. McAllister, 2005, Regional patterns of sea surface temperature rise: implications for global ocean circulation change and the future of coral reefs and fisheries, WORLD RESOURCE REVIEW, 17: 350-374