The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed a Decision Support System (DSS) under the Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program to forecast environmental stress in coral reef ecosystems around the world. This DSS uses models and 50 km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) to generate ?HotSpot? and Degree Heating Week coral bleaching indices. These are used by scientists and resource managers around the world. These users, including National Marine Sanctuary managers, have expressed the need for higher spatial resolution tools to understand local issues. We propose to augment the CRW DSS with two products from NASA research programs. One is a series of coral bleaching products at higher spatial resolution derived using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and AVHRR data. We will generate and validate products at 1 km resolution for the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and global assessments at 4 and 50 km. The other product is the Global Coral Reef Millennium Map, a 30-m resolution thematic classification of coral reefs developed by the NASA Landsat-7 Science Team. The Millennium Maps help understand the geomorphology of individual reefs around the world. The products will be available through NOAA CRW and UNEP-WCMC web portal with visualization and knowledge synthesis tools designed to help users formulate policy options and management decisions. An independent team will evaluate the new products with a range of users. The augmented DSS has a global scope, yet it addresses the needs of local resource managers. The work complements efforts to map and monitor coral reef communities in the U.S. territories by NOAA, NASA, and the USGS, and is a contribution to international efforts in ecological forecasting of coral reefs under changing environments, coral reef research, resource management, and conservation. This activity directly addresses the objectives of the NASA Ecological Forecasting application area.
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