Are sea surface temperature satellite measurements reliable proxies of lagoon temperature in the south pacific?

Type Article
Date 2017-12
Language English
Author(s) Van Wynsberge Simon1, Menkes Christophe2, 3, Le Gendre RomainORCID4, Passfield Teuru5, Andrefouet Serge6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Reunion, CNRS, Inst Rech Dev, UMR ENTROPIE 9220, F-98713 Arue, French Polynesi, France.
2 : Inst Rech Dev, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
3 : Univ Paris 06, LOCEAN Lab, IPSL, Sorbonne Univ,UPMC,CNRS,IRD,MNHN, F-75252 Paris, France.
4 : IFREMER, Unite Rech Lagons Ecosyst & Aquaculture Durable, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
5 : Minist Marine Resources, Pearl Support Div, POB 85, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
6 : Univ Reunion, CNRS, Inst Rech Dev, UMR ENTROPIE 9220, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
Source Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science (0272-7714) (Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science Ltd), 2017-12 , Vol. 199 , P. 117-124
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.09.033
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) Atoll lagoon, Pacific islands, Reef aperture, Climate change, Sea Surface Temperature

In remote coral reef environments, lagoon and reef in situ measurements of temperature are scarce. Sea Surface Temperature (SST) measured by satellite has been frequently used as a proxy of the lagoon temperature experienced by coral reef organisms (TL) especially during coral bleaching events. However, the link between SST and TL is poorly characterized. First, we compared the correlation between various SST series and TL from 2012 to 2016 in three atolls and one island in the Central South Pacific Ocean. Simple linear correlation between SST and TL ranged between 0.44 and 0.97 depending on lagoons, localities of sensors, and type of SST data. High-resolution-satellite-measurements of SST inside the lagoons did not outperform oceanic SST series, suggesting that SST products are not adapted for small lagoons. Second, we modelled the difference between oceanic SST and TL as a function of the drivers of lagoon water renewal and mixing, namely waves, tide, wind, and season. The multivariate models reduced significantly the bias between oceanic SST and TL. In atoll lagoons, and probably in other hydrodynamically semi-open systems, a correction taking into account these factors is necessary when SST are used to characterize organisms’ thermal stress thresholds.

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