Aqualink: Monitoring Ocean Climate Change

It’s estimated that, at the current rate of climate change, by 2100 there will be nearly zero suitable coral habitats remaining on Earth. Ocean acidification and climate change are decimating these fragile, yet critical, ecosystems — and scientists are working hard to find ways to stop this decline.

Aqualink is a philanthropically-funded organization helping citizen scientists monitor sensitive coral reefs and underwater ecosystems. By providing citizen scientists, researchers, and volunteers with the tools to better understand and monitor their local reefs, Aqualink hopes to better track and predict heat stress events, such as coral bleaching.

Satellite data is typically used to understand how climate change is impacting surface temperature. However, coral reefs and other essential marine ecosystems are not always near the surface. Ocean dynamics can mean there’s a large temperature difference between the surface and where reefs live, just a few meters down. Temperature data collected by satellite just isn’t that accurate when it comes to tracking reef survival.

Aqualink equips researchers and citizen scientists around the world today with Sofar Ocean's Smart Moorings to monitor heat stress on coral reefs more accurately. Leveraging the Bristlemouth open standard will enable Aqualink to attach additional marine sensors to Smart Moorings and amplify its ocean conservation efforts.