Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene

Terry P. Hughes, Kristen D. Anderson, Sean R. Connolly, Scott F. Heron, James T. Kerry, Janice M. Lough, Andrew H. Baird, Julia K. Baum, Michael L. Berumen, Tom C. Bridge, Danielle C. Claar, C. Mark Eakin, James P. Gilmour, Nicholas A.J. Graham, Hugo Harrison, Jean Paul A. Hobbs, Andrew S. Hoey, Mia Hoogenboom, Ryan J. Lowe, Malcolm T. McCulloch & 5 others John M. Pandolfi, Morgan Pratchett, Verena Schoepf, Gergely Torda, Shaun K. Wilson

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Abstract

Tropical reef systems are transitioning to a new era in which the interval between recurrent bouts of coral bleaching is too short for a full recovery of mature assemblages. We analyzed bleaching records at 100 globally distributed reef locations from 1980 to 2016. The median return time between pairs of severe bleaching events has diminished steadily since 1980 and is now only 6 years. As global warming has progressed, tropical sea surface temperatures are warmer now during current La Niña conditions than they were during El Niño events three decades ago. Consequently, as we transition to the Anthropocene, coral bleaching is occurring more frequently in all El Niño-Southern Oscillation phases, increasing the likelihood of annual bleaching in the coming decades.

LanguageEnglish
Pages80-83
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume359
Issue number6371
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2018

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El Nino-Southern Oscillation
Anthozoa
Global Warming
Oceans and Seas
Temperature

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Hughes, T. P., Anderson, K. D., Connolly, S. R., Heron, S. F., Kerry, J. T., Lough, J. M., ... Wilson, S. K. (2018). Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. Science, 359(6371), 80-83. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8048
Hughes, Terry P. ; Anderson, Kristen D. ; Connolly, Sean R. ; Heron, Scott F. ; Kerry, James T. ; Lough, Janice M. ; Baird, Andrew H. ; Baum, Julia K. ; Berumen, Michael L. ; Bridge, Tom C. ; Claar, Danielle C. ; Eakin, C. Mark ; Gilmour, James P. ; Graham, Nicholas A.J. ; Harrison, Hugo ; Hobbs, Jean Paul A. ; Hoey, Andrew S. ; Hoogenboom, Mia ; Lowe, Ryan J. ; McCulloch, Malcolm T. ; Pandolfi, John M. ; Pratchett, Morgan ; Schoepf, Verena ; Torda, Gergely ; Wilson, Shaun K./ Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. In: Science. 2018 ; Vol. 359, No. 6371. pp. 80-83
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abstract = "Tropical reef systems are transitioning to a new era in which the interval between recurrent bouts of coral bleaching is too short for a full recovery of mature assemblages. We analyzed bleaching records at 100 globally distributed reef locations from 1980 to 2016. The median return time between pairs of severe bleaching events has diminished steadily since 1980 and is now only 6 years. As global warming has progressed, tropical sea surface temperatures are warmer now during current La Ni{\~n}a conditions than they were during El Ni{\~n}o events three decades ago. Consequently, as we transition to the Anthropocene, coral bleaching is occurring more frequently in all El Ni{\~n}o-Southern Oscillation phases, increasing the likelihood of annual bleaching in the coming decades.",
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Hughes, TP, Anderson, KD, Connolly, SR, Heron, SF, Kerry, JT, Lough, JM, Baird, AH, Baum, JK, Berumen, ML, Bridge, TC, Claar, DC, Eakin, CM, Gilmour, JP, Graham, NAJ, Harrison, H, Hobbs, JPA, Hoey, AS, Hoogenboom, M, Lowe, RJ, McCulloch, MT, Pandolfi, JM, Pratchett, M, Schoepf, V, Torda, G & Wilson, SK 2018, 'Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene' Science, vol 359, no. 6371, pp. 80-83. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8048

Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. / Hughes, Terry P.; Anderson, Kristen D.; Connolly, Sean R.; Heron, Scott F.; Kerry, James T.; Lough, Janice M.; Baird, Andrew H.; Baum, Julia K.; Berumen, Michael L.; Bridge, Tom C.; Claar, Danielle C.; Eakin, C. Mark; Gilmour, James P.; Graham, Nicholas A.J.; Harrison, Hugo; Hobbs, Jean Paul A.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hoogenboom, Mia; Lowe, Ryan J.; McCulloch, Malcolm T.; Pandolfi, John M.; Pratchett, Morgan; Schoepf, Verena; Torda, Gergely; Wilson, Shaun K.

In: Science, Vol. 359, No. 6371, 05.01.2018, p. 80-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene

AU - Hughes,Terry P.

AU - Anderson,Kristen D.

AU - Connolly,Sean R.

AU - Heron,Scott F.

AU - Kerry,James T.

AU - Lough,Janice M.

AU - Baird,Andrew H.

AU - Baum,Julia K.

AU - Berumen,Michael L.

AU - Bridge,Tom C.

AU - Claar,Danielle C.

AU - Eakin,C. Mark

AU - Gilmour,James P.

AU - Graham,Nicholas A.J.

AU - Harrison,Hugo

AU - Hobbs,Jean Paul A.

AU - Hoey,Andrew S.

AU - Hoogenboom,Mia

AU - Lowe,Ryan J.

AU - McCulloch,Malcolm T.

AU - Pandolfi,John M.

AU - Pratchett,Morgan

AU - Schoepf,Verena

AU - Torda,Gergely

AU - Wilson,Shaun K.

PY - 2018/1/5

Y1 - 2018/1/5

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AB - Tropical reef systems are transitioning to a new era in which the interval between recurrent bouts of coral bleaching is too short for a full recovery of mature assemblages. We analyzed bleaching records at 100 globally distributed reef locations from 1980 to 2016. The median return time between pairs of severe bleaching events has diminished steadily since 1980 and is now only 6 years. As global warming has progressed, tropical sea surface temperatures are warmer now during current La Niña conditions than they were during El Niño events three decades ago. Consequently, as we transition to the Anthropocene, coral bleaching is occurring more frequently in all El Niño-Southern Oscillation phases, increasing the likelihood of annual bleaching in the coming decades.

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DO - 10.1126/science.aan8048

M3 - Article

VL - 359

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EP - 83

JO - Science

T2 - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 6371

ER -

Hughes TP, Anderson KD, Connolly SR, Heron SF, Kerry JT, Lough JM et al. Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. Science. 2018 Jan 5;359(6371):80-83. Available from, DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8048