Real-time satellite system to monitor global reef bleaching

21 May 2021

In a world first, a satellite-based global coral reef bleaching monitoring system will scan the Earth’s oceans for coral-killing bleaching events in real-time.

bleached coral on a reef
Bleached corals in Hawaii. Credit: Greg Asner.

The Allen Coral Atlas project, an international research collaboration featuring University of Queensland scientists, are using unprecedented detailed habitat maps of all global coral reefs – over 230,000 of them – to detect reef bleaching anywhere in the world. 

Dr Chris Roelfsema, from UQ’s Remote Sensing Research Centre, said the digital atlas tool was desperately needed, given the state of the world’s coral reefs.

“The current prognosis for the world’s coral reefs is bleak,” Dr Roelfsema said.

“With ever-warming, more polluted and acidic oceans, models predict that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of coral reefs will be lost by 2050.

Read full story on UQ News

A video interview with Dr Chris Roelfsema is available here, and a social media toolkit is available here.