This dataset supports the 2018 Nature Climate Change publication by Terry Hughes, James Kerry, Sean Connolly (lead authors) and 10 co-authors, entitled 'Ecological memory modifies the cumulative impact of recurrent climate extremes'. It is comprised of one data file as an Excel .csv in long form:
(1) 2016-2017 data - Aerial surveys were conducted in March and April 2016, and in March 2017, to measure the geographic extent and severity of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. 1,135 individual reef scores are given for 2016 and 742 for 2017. They fall in to one of five bleaching categories: (0) less than 1% of corals bleached, (1) 1-10%, (2) 10-30%, (3) 30-60%, and (4) more than 60% of corals bleached. The accuracy of the aerial scores was ground-truthed in 2016 by measuring the extent of bleaching underwater on 104 reefs, also during March/April 2016.
The dataset also contains the Degree Heating Weeks (heat stress metric) from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for year-to-date heat stress based on the date a reef was surveyed.
Finally, each reef was assigned to one of three categories: North, Central or South, denoting is broad latitudinal position on the Great Barrier Reef. This clustering was used in some analyses.