Journal article

The Role of Clouds in Coral Bleaching Events Over the Great Barrier Reef

Wenhui Zhao, Yi Huang, Steven Siems, Michael Manton

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS | AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION | Published : 2021

Abstract

Thermal coral bleaching events (CBEs) over the Pacific, including those over the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), have commonly been linked to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with bleaching reported to be a direct result of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies driven by El Niño. However, such a relationship cannot explain CBEs that occurred during La Niña or the neutral phase of the ENSO. Here, we show that the GBR is characterized by a significant negative correlation between total cloud cover anomaly (TCCA) and lagged SST anomaly (SSTA) whose magnitude and spatial extent are greater than the SSTA-ENSO correlation. This significant negative TCCA-SSTA (lagged) correlation prevails over ..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge support from the Australia Research Council through the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes. The authors also thank Dr Caroline Poulsen and Dr Stengel Martin for making available the long-term Cloud_cci data set and many useful discussions (https://public.satproj.klima.dwd.de/data/ESA_Cloud_CCI/DOIs/v3.0/DOI_ESA_Cloud_cci_AVHRRPM_V003_landingpage.html).