Scott F. Heron

Scott F. Heron
James Cook University · Department of Physics

Ph.D.

About

227
Publications
83,294
Reads
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11,931
Citations
Citations since 2017
86 Research Items
10323 Citations
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Additional affiliations
December 2005 - July 2016
James Cook University
Position
  • Adjunct Principal Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (227)
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has been identified as the fastest-growing threat to World Heritage (WH) and many WH properties are already experiencing related effects. The High Coast/Kvarken Archipelago WH property reflects a landscape that is already constantly changing – post-glacial land uplift means today there is 1% more land than there was in 2006. However...
Article
Surface water flushing of the tropical fjord of Ambon Bay is linked to stratification and frontogenesis that vary with tidal and seasonal cycles. Tidal- and seasonal- based deployments of CTD casts and bottom-mounted current meters in 2019 coupled with an analytical model were employed to investigate estuarine circulation (i.e. flood/ebb-mean trans...
Article
Seagrass meadows, one of the world's greatest natural assets, are globally declining due to direct-anthropogenic (e.g., pollution, coastal development, run-off) and climate change (e.g., cyclones, floods, marine heatwaves) threats. One of the primary constraints in seagrass management and restoration is a lack of societal awareness about their role...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Climate change is increasingly threatening World Heritage (WH) properties and their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Climate change impacts the attributes that collectively contribute to the OUV; these attributes can be natural (e.g., seagrass) or cultural (e.g., monuments). A recent UNESCO report showed that seagrass habitats within WH...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past four decades, coral bleaching events have occurred with increasing frequency and severity, directly linked to increasing ocean temperature due to climate change. For the latter half of that period, satellite monitoring by NOAA Coral Reef Watch in near real-time has provided invaluable insight into bleaching risk. Here, we describe a n...
Article
Coral bleaching, the result of loss of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, as well as post-bleaching recovery can be exacerbated or mitigated by a range of local factors such as depth, turbidity, and natural or artificial shading providing protection for corals during thermal anomalies. On many reefs, losses in coral cover coincide with increases in upr...
Book
Full-text available
Climate change is a major risk to World Heritage (WH) and many sites are already experiencing impacts from climate change related hazards. This report outlines the results of applying the Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) to Sukur Cultural Landscape, a WH property in northeastern Nigeria. The CVI methodology is a technique to assess rapidly the vul...
Article
This study provides the first observational evidence on the role of deep-water renewal in triggering phytoplankton blooms in a rare shallow-silled tropical fjord (Ambon Bay). Seasonal variation in the tidal-induced deep-water intrusions into inner Ambon Bay (IAB, the fjord basin) upwardly displaces water from the IAB deep layer towards the surface....
Article
Full-text available
The Yuku-Baja-Muliku (YBM) people are the Traditional Owners (First Nation People) of the land and sea country around Archer Point, in North Queensland, Australia. Our people are increasingly recognizing climate-driven changes to our cultural values and how these impact on the timing of events mapped to our traditional seasonal calendar. We invited...
Article
UNESCO World Heritage properties are the Earth's most exceptional places, significant for natural and/or cultural heritage. The values for which they are internationally recognised are impacted by various threats, the foremost of which is climate change. Responding to this global-scale threat is confounded by the vast number and diverse types of pr...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is recognised as the fastest growing threat to World Heritage (WH) properties by ICOMOS and the IUCN. The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) was first piloted at the Natural WH property of Shark Bay, Western Australia in 2018; the first application to a Cultural WH property took place in April 2019 at the Heart of Neolithic Orkney in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ocean warming is increasing the incidence, scale, and severity of global-scale coral bleaching and mortality, culminating in the third global coral bleaching event that occurred during record marine heatwaves of 2014-2017. While local effects of these events have been widely reported, the global implications remain unknown. Analysis of 15,066 reef...
Article
Full-text available
The global impacts of climate change are evident in every marine ecosystem. On coral reefs, mass coral bleaching and mortality have emerged as ubiquitous responses to ocean warming, yet one of the greatest challenges of this epiphenomenon is linking information across scientific disciplines and spatial and temporal scales. Here we review some of th...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal refugia underpin climate-smart management of coral reefs, but whether current thermal refugia will remain so under future warming is uncertain. We use statistical downscaling to provide the highest resolution thermal stress projections (0.01°/1 km, >230,000 reef pixels) currently available for coral reefs and identify future refugia on loca...
Article
The online article was published in The Conversation. It can be viewed at the hyperlink: https://theconversation.com/the-1-billion-great-barrier-reef-funding-is-nonsensical-australians-and-their-natural-wonder-deserve-so-much-better-175924
Article
Coral bleaching has increasingly impacted reefs worldwide over the past four decades. Despite almost 40 years of research into the mechanistic, physiological, ecological, biophysical and climatic drivers of coral bleaching, metrics to allow comparison between ecological observations and experimental simulations still do not exist. Here we describe...
Article
Full-text available
The Aldabra Atoll World Heritage property is among the largest atolls in the world and its remote location has resulted in a high level of biodiversity and endemism. Aldabra Atoll was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, in recognition of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). This report describes outcomes from an application of P...
Article
The frequency, intensity, and spatial scale of climate extremes are changing rapidly due to anthropogenic global warming.¹,² A growing research challenge is to understand how multiple climate-driven disturbances interact with each other over multi-decadal time frames, generating combined effects that cannot be predicted from single events alone.3,...
Article
Coral bleaching has impacted reefs worldwide and the predictions of near‐annual bleaching from over two decades ago have now been realized. While technology currently provides the means to predict large‐scale bleaching, predicting reef‐scale and within‐reef patterns in real‐time for all reef users is limited. In 2020, heat stress across the Great B...
Article
Full-text available
The online article was published in The Conversation. It can be viewed at the hyperlink: https://theconversation.com/not-declaring-the-great-barrier-reef-as-in-danger-only-postpones-the-inevitable-164867
Presentation
Full-text available
Coral diseases contribute to the decline of reef communities, but factors that precede disease are difficult to detect. We developed a multi-species model of colony-scale risk for the class of coral diseases referred to as White Syndromes (WS), investigating the role of current or past conditions, including both environmental stressors and biologic...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of thermal anomalies on tropical coral endosymbiosis can be mediated by a range of environmental factors, which in turn ultimately influence coral health and survival. One such factor is the water flow conditions over coral reefs and corals. Although the physiological benefits of living under high water flow are well known, there remain...
Article
Full-text available
https://theconversation.com/australian-government-was-blindsided-by-un-recommendation-to-list-great-barrier-reef-as-in-danger-but-its-no-great-surprise-163159
Chapter
Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to human-induced climate change. Most notably, increasing ocean temperatures are causing increasing incidence and severity of mass coral bleaching. There have been three major episodes of mass-bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in just the last 5 years, corresponding with extreme temperatures in 2...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of vulnerability has broadened from initial applications in the fields of risk and hazards, human ecology and resilience to include the management of social-ecological systems (SES). We review how this concept has been operationalized in various contexts and identify opportunities and challenges to apply vulnerability assessments to SES...
Article
Seasonal-varying internal tidal dynamics have a critical role in deep-water renewal in tropical shallow-silled fjords (e.g. Ambon Bay, Indonesia). Seasonal- and tidal-based longitudinal CTD casts from the slope of outer Ambon Bay (OAB) to the sill of Ambon Bay coupled with bottom-mounted current meters at the sill and in inner Ambon Bay (IAB, the f...
Article
Full-text available
Remotely sensed ocean color data are useful for monitoring water quality in coastal environments. However, moderate resolution (hundreds of meters to a few kilometers) satellite data are underutilized in these environments because of frequent data gaps from cloud cover and algorithm complexities in shallow waters. Aggregating satellite data over la...
Article
Full-text available
Coral diseases contribute to the decline of reef communities, but factors that lead to disease are difficult to detect. In the present study, we develop a multi-species model of colony-scale risk for the class of coral diseases referred to as White Syndromes, investigating the role of current or past conditions, including both environmental stresso...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes outcomes of the first workshop of key international Wadden Sea experts representing different scientific and academic sectors centred around the OUV of the property, held in Hamburg, Germany (10–11 February 2020). This workshop applied the first phase of the Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) for the Wadden Sea. The CVI is a me...
Article
Full-text available
https://theconversation.com/severely-threatened-and-deteriorating-global-authority-on-nature-lists-the-great-barrier-reef-as-critical-151275
Article
Managing human use of ecosystems in an era of rapid environmental change requires an understanding of diverse stakeholders’ behaviors and perceptions to enable effective prioritization of actions to mitigate multiple threats. Specifically, research examining how threat perceptions are shared or diverge among stakeholder groups, and how these can ev...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) is a rapid assessment tool custom-designed for application in World Heritage properties. This report describes outcomes from its application for the Shark Bay, Western Australia property. Vulnerabilities of the World Heritage values and attributes, and of the community associated with the property were each ass...
Article
Full-text available
Underwater visual surveys of coral reefs are the primary method managers use to monitor coral health. However, these surveys are limited to visual signs, such as bleaching and tissue loss lesions, which occur only after significant stress has accumulated. More holistic characterization of coral health can allow for better monitoring of reef changes...
Article
Full-text available
Endemic disease transmission is an important ecological process that is challenging to study because of low occurrence rates. Here, we investigate the ecological drivers of two coral diseases–growth anomalies and tissue loss–affecting five coral species. We first show that a statistical framework called the case-control study design, commonly used...
Article
Climate change is the fastest-growing global threat to the world's natural and cultural heritage. No systematic approach to assess climate vulnerability of protected areas and their associated communities has existed-until now. The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) is scientifically robust, transparent, and repeatable, and has now been applied to v...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is the fastest-growing global threat to the world's natural and cultural heritage. No systematic approach to assess climate vulnerability of protected areas and their associated communities has existed-until now. The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) is scientifically robust, transparent, and repeatable, and has now been applied to v...
Article
Full-text available
Some researchers have suggested that corals living in deeper reefs may escape heat stress experienced by shallow corals. We evaluated the potential of deep coral reef refugia from bleaching stress by leveraging a long record of satellite-derived sea surface temperature data with a temporal, spatial, and depth precision of in situ temperature record...
Preprint
Full-text available
Endemic disease transmission is an important ecological process that is challenging to study because of low occurrence rates. Here, we investigate the ecological drivers of two coral diseases -- growth anomalies and tissue loss -- affecting five coral species. We first show that a statistical framework called the case-control study design, commonly...
Article
Outbreaks of marine infectious diseases have caused widespread mass mortalities, but the lack of baseline data has precluded evaluating whether disease is increasing or decreasing in the ocean. We use an established literature proxy method from Ward and Lafferty (Ward and Lafferty 2004 PLoS Biology2, e120 (doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020120)) to anal...
Article
Full-text available
When the managers of the Great Barrier Reef recently rated its outlook as very poor, a few well-known threats dominated the headlines. But delve deeper into the 2019 Outlook Report and you’ll find that this global icon is threatened by a whopping 45 risks. The most publicised main threats relate to climate change and poor water quality, and are un...
Article
Environmental anomalies that trigger adverse physiological responses and mortality are occurring with increasing frequency due to climate change. At species' range peripheries, environmental anomalies are particularly concerning because species often exist at their environmental tolerance limits and may not be able to migrate to escape unfavourable...
Article
Full-text available
Severe bleaching events caused by marine heat waves over the past four decades have now affected almost every coral reef ecosystem in the world. These recurring events have led to major losses of coral cover, with adverse consequences for tropical reef ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Here, we document two consecutive and widespread co...
Article
Full-text available
The global coral bleaching event of 2014-2017 resulted from the latest in a series of heat stress events that have increased in intensity. We assessed global-and basin-scale variations in sea surface temperature-based heat stress products for 1985-2017 to provide the context for how heat stress during 2014-2017 compared with the past 3 decades. Pre...
Article
Full-text available
While links between heat stress and coral bleaching are clear and predictive tools for bleaching risk are well advanced, links between heat stress and outbreaks of coral diseases are less well understood. In this study, the effects of accumulated heat stress on tagged colonies of tabular Acropora were monitored over the 2017 austral summer at Beave...
Article
Full-text available
A changing climate is driving increasingly common and prolonged marine heatwaves (MHWs) and these extreme events have now been widely documented to severely impact marine ecosystems globally. However, MHWs have rarely been considered when examining temperature-induced degradation of coral reef ecosystems. Here we consider extreme, localized thermal...
Article
Full-text available
https://theconversation.com/from-shark-bay-seagrass-to-stone-age-scotland-we-can-now-assess-climate-risks-to-world-heritage-119643
Article
Full-text available
Iconic places, including World Heritage areas, are symbolic and synonymous with national and cultural identities. Recognition of an existential threat to an icon may therefore arouse public concern and protective sentiment. Here we test this assumption by comparing sentiments, threat perceptions and values associated with the Great Barrier Reef and...
Article
Driving patterns of coral bleaching over reefs are a suite of biophysical interactions where the physical environment modulates organism response through an interplay with intrinsic biological functioning. Flow conditions over reefs can mitigate the physiological impacts of thermal stress across multiple spatial scales. More details can be found in...
Article
Full-text available
If we are to ensure the persistence of species in an increasingly warm world, of interest is the identification of drivers that affect the ability of an organism to resist thermal stress. Underpinning any organism's capacity for resistance is a complex interplay between biological and physical factors occurring over multiple scales. Tropical coral...
Article
Full-text available
Kamenos and Hennige (2018, hereafter KH18), however, claim to show that mass coral bleaching is not a recent phenomenon, and has occurred regularly over the past four centuries (1572–2001) on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. They support their claim by developing a putative proxy for coral bleaching that uses the suggested relationship betw...
Article
Full-text available
Multihost infectious disease outbreaks have endangered wildlife, causing extinction of frogs and endemic birds, and widespread declines of bats, corals, and abalone. Since 2013, a sea star wasting disease has affected >20 sea star species from Mexico to Alaska. The common, predatory sunflower star ( Pycnopodia helianthoides ), shown to be highly su...
Article
Full-text available
This data compilation synthesizes 36 static environmental and spatial variables, and temporally explicit modeled estimates of three major disturbances to coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR): (1) coral bleaching, (2) tropical cyclones, and (3) outbreaks of the coral‐eating crown‐of‐thorns starfish Acanthaster cf. solaris. Data are provided o...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is radically altering the frequency, intensity and spatial scale of severe weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, floods and fires¹. As the time interval shrinks between recurrent shocks2–5, the responses of ecosystems to each new disturbance are increasingly likely to be contingent on the history of other recent extreme events...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience underpins the sustainability of both ecological and social systems. Extensive loss of reef corals following recent mass bleaching events have challenged the notion that support of system resilience is a viable reef management strategy. While resilience-based management (RBM) cannot prevent the damaging effects of major disturbances, such...
Article
Full-text available
Pronounced differences exist in the biodiversity and structure of coral reef assemblages with increasing distance from shore, which may be expected given marked cross-shelf gradients in environmental conditions. Cross-shelf variation in the abundance of coral reef organisms is likely to be caused, at least in part, by differences in demography (e.g...
Article
Full-text available
In 2017, the dominant greenhouse gases released into Earth's atmosphere-carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide-reached new record highs. The annual global average carbon dioxide concentration at Earth's surface for 2017 was 405.0 ± 0.1 ppm, 2.2 ppm greater than for 2016 and the highest in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice cor...
Chapter
Episodes of mass coral bleaching across the world since the 1980s have led to widespread coral mortality and concern about the viability of warm water coral reef ecosystems during a period of rapid climate warming. A number of recent studies have used the output of global climate models to estimate the effects of ocean warming and, to a lesser exte...
Chapter
Coral reefs live within a fairly narrow envelope of environmental conditions constrained by water temperatures, light, salinity, nutrients, bathymetry, and the aragonite saturation state of seawater. While many environmental extremes can cause coral to expel their symbiotic microalgae and bleach on local scales, only elevated ocean temperature has...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems are seriously threatened by changing conditions in the ocean. Although many factors are implicated, climate change has emerged as a dominant and rapidly growing threat. Developing a long‐term strategic plan for the conservation of coral reefs is urgently needed yet is complicated by significant uncertainty associated with clim...
Article
Full-text available
Demographic processes, such as growth, can have an important influence on the population and community structure of reef-building corals. Importantly, ongoing changes in environmental conditions (e.g. ocean warming) are expected to affect coral growth, contributing to changes in the structure of coral populations and communities. This study quantif...