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Coral Reef Temperature Anomaly Database (CoRTAD)

 

-Get the CoRTAD data files via HTTP here-
-Get the CoRTAD data files via FTP here-
-Get the CoRTAD data files via OPeNDAP here-
-Get the CoRTAD data files via THREDDS here-

Our current opendap server is not yet configured for netCDF 4. CoRTAD is available via opendap through the THREDDS server above.

About the Coral Reef Temperature Anomaly Database:

There is fairly broad scientific consensus that global-scale stressors are partially responsible for the decline of coral reefs (eg., Aronson et al., Science, v302, 2003; Harvell et al., Science, v285, 1999). One likely candidate is an increase in SST in much of the tropics. Yet, it is not even known how many reefs have experienced an increase in the frequency or magnitude of thermal stress, and little is known about the spatial and temporal patterns of coral reef temperatures and how these related to broader climate change. To address these gaps in understanding, the National Oceanographic Data Center in partnership with the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has developed a unique Coral Reef Temperature Anomaly Database (CoRTAD). The CoRTAD development was funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, and the database uses Pathfinder Version 5.2 SSTs to quantify thermal stress patterns on the world's coral reefs between November 1981 and 2010 (Version 4).
Summary of Version Evolution:
2012:Version 4, 1981-10-31 - 2010-12-31, Global 4320x8640, Tile 540x540, NetCDF-4 Classic, FGDC metadata, archive 0087989
2010:Version 3, 1982-01-01 - 2009-12-31, Global 4096x8192, Tile 512x512, HDF5 FGDC metadata, archive 0068999
2009:Version 2, 1982-01-01 - 2008-12-31, Global 4096x8192, Tile 512x512, HDF5 FGDC metadata, archive 0054501
2008:Version 1, 1985-01-01 - 2005-12-31, Global 4096x8192, Tile 512x512, HDF4 FGDC metadata, archive 0044419

The CoRTAD is described in detail in:

Selig, E.R., K.S. Casey, and J.F. Bruno (2010), New insights into global patterns of ocean temperature anomalies: implications for coral reef health and management, Global Ecology and Biogeography, DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00522.x.

The CoRTAD contains a collection of sea surface temperature (SST) and related thermal stress metrics, developed specifically for coral reef ecosystem applications but relevant to other ecosystems as well. The CoRTAD contains global, approximately 4 km resolution SST data on a weekly time scale from 1982 through 2008 (Version 2). In addition to SST, it contains SST anomaly (SSTA, weekly SST minus weekly climatological SST), thermal stress anomaly (TSA, weekly SST minus the maximum weekly climatological SST), SSTA Degree Heating Week (SSTA_DHW, sum of previous 12 weeks when SSTA is greater than or equal to 1 degree C), SSTA Frequency (number of times over previous 52 weeks that SSTA is greater than or equal to 1 degree C), TSA DHW (TSA_DHW, also known as a Degree Heating Week, sum of previous 12 weeks when TSA is greater than or equal to 1 degree C),and TSA Frequency (number of times over previous 52 weeks that TSA is greater than or equal to 1 degree C).

A few selected graphics showing the mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures from the CoRTAD are shown below to given a small glimpse into the database. Click on the graphic for an expanded view, or follow the link below the graphic to display the full resolution TIFF version. The CoRTAD is a large and extensive collection of data. At the end of this page, a listing of the files making up the CoRTAD along with their sizes is provided. For reference, you can see a Map of the CoRTAD Tiles which illustrates how the global ocean was divided for processing purposes. Version 1 is in HDF4-SDS format while Versions 2 and 3 are in HDF-5. See the Satellite data formats page for more information.

For more information, please contact the NODC satellite oceanography team.

Mean SST Minimum SST Maximum SST
Mean SST Minimum SST Maximum SST
Full-Res TIF Full-Res TIF Full-Res TIF

The following table lists known issues with the CoRTADV4 data set:

Known Issue Comments
Metadata variable attribute "add_offset" for some parameters are incorrectly set to 273.15, when they should be 0.0. These parameters are SSTA, TSA, SST_Stats, SSTA_Stats, TSA_Stats, SSTA_DHW, SSTA_DHW_Stats, TSA_DHW and TSA_DHW_Stats. Some tools and software automatically read "add_offset" (such as Matlab's ncread). NODC's Live Access Server LAS and our THREDDS Server have been modified to ignore add_offset for these variables. A decision will be made shortly whether to fix in place or wait until next release. Fix is easy from scripting perspective, but archiving issues must be dealt with.
Land variable is transposed in relation to all other parameters. You must transpose the dimensions in the Land variable in order to use with other parameters. In Matlab it can be done by: land = land';
Weekly climatology: week one begins on October 31. The first week is normally associated with the beginning of the year (first or second week in January depending on the year). This will be fixed on next release. A work around alogrithm would be to subtract 9 from the week number and if it is then below 1 add 53.
The parameter metadata for the 3 SST values list the land mask and bad data sst pixel values as 1100 and 1110 respectively. In reality these are -1100 and -1110. The metadata will be corrected on next release.
Currently, a major gap exists from 1994275 to 1995017 in Pathfinder 5.2. In addition it has been determined that 1994256 to 1994274 Pathfinder 5.2 have few observations. This is because complete Level 0 or Level 1 GAC data from NOAA-9 have not yet been found. CoRTAD version 4 uses Pathfinder 5.0 sst data from 1994256 through 1995017. 0.17K is subtracted from the 5.0 pathfinder as 5.2 represents skin temperature as opposed to bulk temperature. NODC staff have been searching for the missing NOAA-9 GAC data. If you have a copy of these data or know where to obtain them, please send an email to NODC.SatelliteTeam@noaa.gov.
Global metadata indicates that weeks go from Sunday through Saturday. They actually run from Saturday through Friday. The metadata will be corrected on next release.
Time, lat and lon bounds variables are wrong. The data will be corrected on next release.
Pathfinder is misspelled in global source variable. The metadata will be corrected on next release.

 

We will continue to update these web pages to provide additional details on CoRTADV4

Related Publications which have used the CoRTAD:

Bruno, J.F., E.R. Selig, K.S. Casey, C.A. Page, B.L. Willis, C.D. Harvell, H. Sweatman, and Amy Melendy (2007). Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks, Public Library of Science Biology, Vol. 5, No. 6, e124.(DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050124)

Halpern Benjamin S., C.V. Kappel, K.A. Selkoe, F. Micheli, C.M. Ebert et al. (2009). Mapping cumulative human impacts to California Current marine ecosystems. Conservation Letters, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 138-148.

Halpern, Benjamin S., Shaun Walbridge, Kimberly A. Selkoe, Carrie V. Kappel, Fiorenza Micheli, Caterina D'Agrosa, John F. Bruno, Kenneth S. Casey, Colin Ebert, Helen E. Fox, Rod Fujita, Dennis Heinemann, Hunter S. Lenihan, Elizabeth M.P. Madin, Matthew T. Perry, Elizabeth R. Selig, Mark Spalding, Robert Steneck, Reg Watson (2008). A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science, vol. 319, no. 5865, pp. 948-952 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1149345).

Hoff, M. (2007). What's Behind the Spread of White Syndrome in Great Barrier Reef Corals? PLoS Biol 5(6): e164 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050164).

Maina, J, TR McClanahan, V Venus, M Ateweberhan, and J Madin (2011). Global Gradients of Coral Exposure to Environmental Stresses and Implications for Local Management. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23064. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023064

McLeod, Elizabeth, Russell Moffitt, Axel Timmermann, Rodney Salm, Laurie Menviel, Michael J. Palmer, Elizabeth R. Selig, Kenneth S. Casey, and John F. Bruno, (2010) 'Warming Seas in the Coral Triangle: Coral Reef Vulnerability and Management Implications', Coastal Management, 38: 5, 518-539, First published on: 26 August 2010 (iFirst), DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2010.509466. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2010.509466.

Pirhalla D.E., V. Ransibrahmanakul, R. Clark, A. Desch, T. Wynne, and M. Edwards. 2009. An Oceanographic Characterization of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Pacific Northwest: Interpretive Summary of Ocean Climate and Regional Processes Through Satellite Remote Sensing. Prepared by NCCOS's Coastal Oceanographic Assessments, Status and Trends Division in cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 90. 53 pp.

Selig, E.R., C.D. Harvell, J.F. Bruno, B.L. Willis, C.A. Page, K.S. Casey and H. Sweatman (2006). Analyzing the relationship between ocean temperature anomalies and coral disease outbreaks at broad spatial scales. In; J.T. Phinney, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, J. Kleypas, W. Skirving, and A. Strong (eds.). Coral reefs and climate change: science and management. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, Pages 111-128.

Selig, E.R., K.S. Casey, and J.F. Bruno (2010). New insights into global patterns of ocean temperature anomalies: implications for coral reef health and management, Global Ecology and Biogeography, DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00522.x.

Selkoe, K.A., B.S. Halpern, C.M. Ebert, E.C. Franklin, E.R. Selig, K.S. Casey, J. Bruno, and R.J. Toonen (2009). A map of human impacts to a "pristine" coral reef ecosystem, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Coral Reefs (DOI 10.1007/s00338-009-0490-z).

The following publications used the AVHRR Pathfinder data set, from which CoRTAD is derived:

NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) 2005. A Biogeographic Assessment of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: A Review of Boundary Expansion Concepts for NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program. Prepared by NCCOS's Biogeography Team in cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 21. 215 pp.

NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) 2007. A Biogeographic Assessment off North/Central California: In Support of the National Marine Sanctuaries of Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay. Phase II - Environmental Setting and Update to Marine Birds and Mammals. Prepared by NCCOS's Biogeography Branch, R.G. Ford Consulting Co. and Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, in cooperation with the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Silver Spring, MD. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 40. 302 pp.

14 February 2008 - In the News!

-Read the NOAA Press Release Here-

Using information derived from the Coral Reef Temperature Anomaly Database (CoRTAD) and 16 other layers of data, Dr. Ben Halpern from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and a team of researchers including NODC's Dr. Kenneth Casey published a paper in Science documenting human impacts on marine ecosystems. The full paper citation is:

Benjamin S. Halpern, Shaun Walbridge, Kimberly A. Selkoe, Carrie V. Kappel, Fiorenza Micheli, Caterina D'Agrosa, John F. Bruno, Kenneth S. Casey, Colin Ebert, Helen E. Fox, Rod Fujita, Dennis Heinemann, Hunter S. Lenihan, Elizabeth M.P. Madin, Matthew T. Perry, Elizabeth R. Selig, Mark Spalding, Robert Steneck, Reg Watson (2008). A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science, vol. 319, no. 5865, pp. 948-952 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1149345).

Global Map of Human Impacts of Marine Ecosystems

The study reveals that over 40% of the world's oceans are heavily affected by human activities and few if any areas remain untouched. These results are illustrated in the image above, adapted from Figure 1 of the paper. In the image, cooler shades (blue to green) represent areas with lower levels of human impact. Warmer shades (yellow to red) represent areas with higher levels of human impact. The project is the first global-scale study of human influence on marine ecosystems.

Several animations have been rendered to more effectively display the static image shown above (NOTE: some of these are very large!). All of them portray the results from Figure 1, displayed on a revolving globe:

  • ImpactRotate.mov - A view from a fixed vantage point over the equator (~527 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • ImpactRotate_small.mov - A smaller version of the previous animation (~10 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • Impact-Rotate.mp4 - Another small version of the previous animation (~8 MB, MP4, credit NOAA)
  • ImpactRotate_small.mp4 - Another small version of the previous animation (~9 MB, MP4, credit NOAA)
  • Impact-Tour.mov - This view zooms around the globe, visiting the most heavily impacted regions (~423 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • Impact-Tour_small.mov - A smaller version of the previous animation (~21 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • Impact-US.mov - This view zooms over the Gulf of Mexico and US East Coast (~220 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • Impactt-US_small.mov - A smaller version of the previous animation (~9 MB, MOV, credit NOAA)
  • r4_intro_720p_30fps.avi - A view of the data provided by UCSB/NCEAS (~52 MB, AVI, credit UCSB/NCEAS)
  • r5_720p_30fps.mov - Another view from a fixed vantage point over the equator (~232 MB, MOV, credit UCSB/NCEAS)

Screenshot of human impacts animated map For more information:

CoRTAD Data Files:

The CoRTAD is divided into 128 files, based on the tiles described above. Here are their names and sizes (for Version 4).

cortadv4_row00_col00.nc    2228 MB
cortadv4_row00_col01.nc    1999 MB
cortadv4_row00_col02.nc    1826 MB
cortadv4_row00_col03.nc    1659 MB
cortadv4_row00_col04.nc    1418 MB
cortadv4_row00_col05.nc    1058 MB
cortadv4_row00_col06.nc     668 MB
cortadv4_row00_col07.nc    2579 MB
cortadv4_row00_col08.nc    2936 MB
cortadv4_row00_col09.nc    2611 MB
cortadv4_row00_col10.nc    2407 MB
cortadv4_row00_col11.nc    1892 MB
cortadv4_row00_col12.nc    1364 MB
cortadv4_row00_col13.nc    1774 MB
cortadv4_row00_col14.nc    1823 MB
cortadv4_row00_col15.nc    2034 MB
cortadv4_row01_col00.nc    3294 MB
cortadv4_row01_col01.nc    2609 MB
cortadv4_row01_col02.nc     834 MB
cortadv4_row01_col03.nc     347 MB
cortadv4_row01_col04.nc    1128 MB
cortadv4_row01_col05.nc    2260 MB
cortadv4_row01_col06.nc    3532 MB
cortadv4_row01_col07.nc    3445 MB
cortadv4_row01_col08.nc    1377 MB
cortadv4_row01_col09.nc     359 MB
cortadv4_row01_col10.nc     166 MB
cortadv4_row01_col11.nc      86 MB
cortadv4_row01_col12.nc      55 MB
cortadv4_row01_col13.nc      28 MB
cortadv4_row01_col14.nc    1598 MB
cortadv4_row01_col15.nc    2472 MB
cortadv4_row02_col00.nc    3563 MB
cortadv4_row02_col01.nc    3463 MB
cortadv4_row02_col02.nc    3074 MB
cortadv4_row02_col03.nc     618 MB
cortadv4_row02_col04.nc    2058 MB
cortadv4_row02_col05.nc    3359 MB
cortadv4_row02_col06.nc    3782 MB
cortadv4_row02_col07.nc    2479 MB
cortadv4_row02_col08.nc    1157 MB
cortadv4_row02_col09.nc     935 MB
cortadv4_row02_col10.nc     636 MB
cortadv4_row02_col11.nc      45 MB
cortadv4_row02_col12.nc      19 MB
cortadv4_row02_col13.nc    1827 MB
cortadv4_row02_col14.nc    3395 MB
cortadv4_row02_col15.nc    4143 MB
cortadv4_row03_col00.nc    3271 MB
cortadv4_row03_col01.nc    3365 MB
cortadv4_row03_col02.nc    3435 MB
cortadv4_row03_col03.nc    3413 MB
cortadv4_row03_col04.nc    2225 MB
cortadv4_row03_col05.nc    2465 MB
cortadv4_row03_col06.nc    3408 MB
cortadv4_row03_col07.nc    1695 MB
cortadv4_row03_col08.nc     374 MB
cortadv4_row03_col09.nc     300 MB
cortadv4_row03_col10.nc    2752 MB
cortadv4_row03_col11.nc    2623 MB
cortadv4_row03_col12.nc    2145 MB
cortadv4_row03_col13.nc    3759 MB
cortadv4_row03_col14.nc    3435 MB
cortadv4_row03_col15.nc    3996 MB
cortadv4_row04_col00.nc    3475 MB
cortadv4_row04_col01.nc    3339 MB
cortadv4_row04_col02.nc    3649 MB
cortadv4_row04_col03.nc    3097 MB
cortadv4_row04_col04.nc    2395 MB
cortadv4_row04_col05.nc      69 MB
cortadv4_row04_col06.nc    2723 MB
cortadv4_row04_col07.nc    3163 MB
cortadv4_row04_col08.nc    2260 MB
cortadv4_row04_col09.nc    1185 MB
cortadv4_row04_col10.nc    3244 MB
cortadv4_row04_col11.nc    3301 MB
cortadv4_row04_col12.nc    3134 MB
cortadv4_row04_col13.nc    2772 MB
cortadv4_row04_col14.nc    3152 MB
cortadv4_row04_col15.nc    4180 MB
cortadv4_row05_col00.nc    3308 MB
cortadv4_row05_col01.nc    3214 MB
cortadv4_row05_col02.nc    3204 MB
cortadv4_row05_col03.nc    4032 MB
cortadv4_row05_col04.nc    3206 MB
cortadv4_row05_col05.nc    2028 MB
cortadv4_row05_col06.nc    3271 MB
cortadv4_row05_col07.nc    3205 MB
cortadv4_row05_col08.nc    3654 MB
cortadv4_row05_col09.nc    3485 MB
cortadv4_row05_col10.nc    3526 MB
cortadv4_row05_col11.nc    3234 MB
cortadv4_row05_col12.nc    3471 MB
cortadv4_row05_col13.nc    2295 MB
cortadv4_row05_col14.nc    2112 MB
cortadv4_row05_col15.nc    3970 MB
cortadv4_row06_col00.nc    2979 MB
cortadv4_row06_col01.nc    3326 MB
cortadv4_row06_col02.nc    3375 MB
cortadv4_row06_col03.nc    3368 MB
cortadv4_row06_col04.nc    3052 MB
cortadv4_row06_col05.nc    3577 MB
cortadv4_row06_col06.nc    2703 MB
cortadv4_row06_col07.nc    3054 MB
cortadv4_row06_col08.nc    2866 MB
cortadv4_row06_col09.nc    2777 MB
cortadv4_row06_col10.nc    2954 MB
cortadv4_row06_col11.nc    2732 MB
cortadv4_row06_col12.nc    3014 MB
cortadv4_row06_col13.nc    2718 MB
cortadv4_row06_col14.nc    3405 MB
cortadv4_row06_col15.nc    2872 MB
cortadv4_row07_col00.nc    1230 MB
cortadv4_row07_col01.nc     848 MB
cortadv4_row07_col02.nc     698 MB
cortadv4_row07_col03.nc     689 MB
cortadv4_row07_col04.nc     559 MB
cortadv4_row07_col05.nc     712 MB
cortadv4_row07_col06.nc     814 MB
cortadv4_row07_col07.nc     402 MB
cortadv4_row07_col08.nc     252 MB
cortadv4_row07_col09.nc     179 MB
cortadv4_row07_col10.nc      22 MB
cortadv4_row07_col11.nc     135 MB
cortadv4_row07_col12.nc       9 MB
cortadv4_row07_col13.nc       9 MB
cortadv4_row07_col14.nc      61 MB
cortadv4_row07_col15.nc     857 MB
  Last modified:    Fri, 15-Nov-2013 11:05 UTC NODC.Webmaster@noaa.gov
 
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