National Coral Reef Monitoring Program:
Monitoring Climate-Driven Impacts
A changing climate is impacting the nation’s coral reef ecosystems. Increases in ocean temperature and changes to ocean chemistry are causing widespread coral bleaching, more frequent disease, and reduced coral growth rates. Key indicators used to identify and monitor climate-driven trends are listed below.
Thermal stress – changes in sea temperature
Ocean acidification – changes in carbonate chemistry
Ecological impacts – data on coral growth rates, erosion, and community structure to understand impacts of thermal stress and ocean acidification on the ecosystem
Data collection methods include moored oceanographic and ecological instruments stationed at fixed points in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, water samples collected by divers, and satellite-based observations.
These extensive monitoring data provide a comprehensive view of climate change impacts on coral reef ecosystems and help identify areas of resilience and vulnerability. The data are also used in modeling efforts.
Enochs IC, Manzello DP, Carlton R, Schopmeyer S, van Hooidonk R, Lirman D (2014) Effects of light and elevated pCO2 on the growth and photochemical efficiency of Acropora cervicornis. Coral
Reefs 33(2):477-485, doi:
DeCarlo TM, Cohen AL, Barkley HC, Cobban Q, Young C, Shamberger KE, Brainard RE, and Golbuu Y (2015) Coral macrobioerosion is accelerated by ocean acidification and nutrients. Geology
43 (1): 7-10, doi: 10.1130/G36147.1
Heron, SF, Liu
G, Rauenzahn JL, Christensen TRL, Skirving
WJ, Burgess TFR, Eakin CM, Morgan JA. (2014)
Improvements to and Continuity of Operational Global Thermal Stress Monitoring
for Coral Bleaching, Journal of
Operational Oceanography 7(2):
3-11, doi: 10.1080/1755876X.2014.11020154
Anthony, KRN, Marshall PA, Abdullah A, Beeden R, Bergh C, Black R, Eakin CM, Game ET,
Gooch M, Graham NAJ, Green A, Heron SF, van Hooidonk R, Knowland C, Mangubhai S,
Marshall N, Maynard JA, McGinnity P, McLeod E, Mumby PJ, Nyström M, Obura D,
Oliver J, Possingham HP, Pressey RL, Rowlands GP, Tamelander J, Wachenfeld D,
Wear S (2014) Operationalising resilience for adaptive coral reef management
under global environmental change, Global
Change Biology, doi:
Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years. Continue Reading →
coral reef conservation program
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a partnership between the NOAA Line Offices that work on coral reef issues: the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The CRCP brings together expertise from across NOAA for a multidisciplinary approach to managing and understanding coral reef ecosystems.
Contact CRCP →
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program
SSMC4, 10th Floor
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
CoRIS: Thank you for visiting NOAA's Coral Reef Information System. Take our website user survey. We welcome your ideas, comments, concerns and suggestions.
NOAA's Coral Reef Information System
SSMC3, 4th floor
1315 East-West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910 firstname.lastname@example.org