The thermal regime explorer is a demonstration project for displaying spatial information on coral reefs in collaboration with the Marine Spatial Ecology Lab at the University of Queensland. The explorer is a global product that includes coral reefs mapped by the Millenium Coral Reef Mapping project. Users of the website can view maps of variations in thermal stress which can be used to help manage reefs for climate change.
Reefs were divided into polygons of approximately 16 km2 which were then classified by their thermal regime. Thermal regimes were determined using proxies of chronic and acute thermal stress experienced, see Mumby et al. (2011) for more information.
As reefs were mapped at a global scale the three-dimensional Google Earth plugin was chosen to provide a better sense of scale and distance than a two-dimensional map. Users may 'fly to' different coral reef regions (e.g., the Bahamas, the Great Barrier Reef) by selecting the appropriate name from a drop-down list, and view the thermal regime data of interest.
Mumby, PJ, Elliott, IA, Eakin, CM, Skirving, W, Paris, CB, Edwards, HJ, Enriquez, S, Iglesias-Prieto, R, Cherubin, LM & Stevens, JR (2011). Reserve design for uncertain responses of coral reefs to climate change. Ecology Letters 14: 132-140.