The health and continued viability of coral reefs throughout the world is in danger due to rising sea surface temperature (SST) as a result of climate change. Satellite-derived SST is therefore an important tool for researching the effects of and monitoring coral stress caused by anomalous SSTSST-based anomaly products that have been designed specifically for corals, such as those produced by the NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) program are key to understanding and monitoring the effects of SST anomalies on coral health.


Researching the effects of and monitoring coral stress caused by anomalous SST.


User Requirements Document

At the Science Team Meeting XX in 2019, the Science Team (ST) asked the Coral Heat Stress User Requirements Task Team to make recommendations on satellite SST requirements for use by coral scientists, users and coral reef managers. In 2020 the Task Team (TT) reported its findings to the ST at GHRSST Science Team Meeting XXI and published an initial report, the  Coral Heat Stress User SST Requirements. In the summer of 2021, an updated document was presented to the Science Team:

Updates to the User Requirements Document

The Task Team has updated the GHRSST Coral Heat Stress Task Team (TT) user requirements document to include the following:

  • requirements for other uses of SST other than the quantification of heat stress;
  • an update to the current set of requirements to take account of evolving coral knowledge, e.g. recent work points to the need for an understanding of the entire diurnal cycle in and around a coral reef.




Co-Chairs: William Skirving (NOAA), Jonathan Mittaz (Univ. Reading), Craig Steinberg (Australian Institute of Marine Science)

Members: Jacqueline De La Cour, Gang Liu, Andy Harris, Eileen Maturi, Neal Cantin, Christopher Merchant, Mark Worsfold, Simon Good, Simon Donner, Claire Spillman, Robert Johnson, Helen Beggs, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Scott Heron.


Please contact the co-chairs directly:

  • William Skirving,
  • Jonathan Mittaz,
  • Craig Steinberg,