Projections of Coral Bleaching and Ocean Acidification for Coral Reef Areas

(based on ensembles of IPCC AR5 climate models)

Coral Bleaching, Ocean Acidification, and Calcification

Coral reefs and the services they provide are seriously threatened by ocean acidification and climate change impacts like coral bleaching. Here, updated global projections for these key threats to coral reefs are presented based on ensembles of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) climate models using the new Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) experiments.

All projections presented within van Hooidonk et al. (2013) are shown in a Google Earth file (a kmz file, ~1.2MB) presented on this web page. We encourage all viewers to read the Contents Description found at the 'About this product' page at the top of the file directory structure containing the images (see "My Places" in the left-hand side of the Google Earth interface).

The methods and the names of models used in the projections can be found here.

Problems viewing the file are likely to have one of three causes: 1) you need to clear everything from your 'My Places' folder or need to de-select anything saved there; 2) you need to download the most current version of Google Earth from this link; or 3) the limitations of your PC or graphics card don't allow for the file to be viewed.

This research was made possible by a grant to the authors of van Hooidonk et al. (2013) by the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative.


Please Note

Any information used from these projections should be cited as 'van Hooidonk et al. (2013)' and images screen captured from the Google Earth file should always appear with 'adapted from van Hooidonk et al. (2013)' if used in presentations or reports.

For questions about the projections and methods please email Ruben van Hooidonk at



van Hooidonk R, Maynard J, Manzello D, Planes S (2013) Opposite latitudinal gradients in projected ocean acidification and bleaching impacts on coral reefs. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12394.

van Hooidonk R, Maynard J, Planes S (2013) Temporary refugia for coral reefs in a warming world. Nature Climate Change, 3, 508-511, doi: 10.1038/nclimate1829.