Reef HQ Programs | Students | Reef Guardians | GBR Explorer | Visual Library | Reef Beat |



Current Conditions Report

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Climate Change Program is dedicated to observing, understanding and reporting coral bleaching events and other climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. The Climate Change Program provides regular reports on conditions on the reef throughout summer and publishes early warnings of increases in levels of stress or widespread bleaching of corals. Current Conditions Reports   are compiled on a regular basis.

Weather and Sea Temperatures

The Australian Institute of Marine Science compiles a Summary of the Weather on the Reef. Sea temperatures are monitored daily by a network of weather stations managed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Satellite monitoring of sea temperatures is also conducted by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this monitoring shows that sea temperatures over the Great Barrier Reef. NOAA's Bleaching Hotspot Maps reveal the extent and severity of warm temperature anomalies around the globe, and are updated daily on their web site.

Weather patterns over summer are critical in determining whether the Great Barrier Reef experiences a major coral bleaching event. The Bureau of Meteorology National Climate Centre provides reports and predictions about average temperatures over Queensland during the summer. While these reports can be used to predict the likelyhood of coral bleaching events this summer, the actual risk of widespread coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is determined by a complex interaction of regional water temperatures, local air temperatures, cloud cover, winds and rainfall.

Condition of Corals

As summer progresses, the coral conditions will be closely monitored by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in conjunction with AIMS and NOAA.  The GBRMPA welcomes any reports of coral bleaching. If you regularly visit a reef site, or you have seen bleaching on the reef, we would be grateful for your input to our Bleach Watch Program.

We are looking for support for this program as summer approaches. This program is aimed at tourism professionals that visit the reef on a regular basis.  This is an opportunity for marine tourism professionals to establish an understanding of the coral community at their sites, with the assistance of coral reef ecologists from the Research and Monitoring Coordination unit at the GBRMPA. Information collected now, can be used to gauge the pre-bleaching coral composition and determine the susceptibility of your site to bleaching. The monitoring form takes only 10 minutes to complete per week. The monitoring kits provided by the GBRMPA are composed of an underwater ID tag, monitoring forms and instructions.

The program has been designed with the tourism professional in mind, and allows the monitor to go about their every day work, be it guiding snorkel trails or diving, while taking a mental picture of their 'home reef' with the help of the underwater ID tag. Once back on the vessel the monitor can fill out the monitoring form and send it back to the GBRMPA with postage already organised. In return for the monitors' effort, a coral reef ecologist at the GBRMPA will analyse the information and provide monthly site reports, collating the data into an informative poster which can be displayed on board for the education of both staff and tourists.

For more information on GBRMPA's bleaching monitoring program contact the Climate Change Program of the Research and Monitoring Unit.