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Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, and minor outlying islands

The Coral Triangle and Climate Change: Ecosystems, People and Societies at Risk

This report sets out the full extent of the threats and proposes solutions to the challenges facing the Coral Triangle and its people. Based on a thorough consideration of the climate, biology, economics and social characteristics of the region, it shows why these challenges are increasing, and how unchecked climate change will ultimately undermine and destroy ecosystems and livelihoods in the Coral Triangle. 

Toward a Pan-Pacific Strategy to Reduce Vulnerability to the Effects of Climate Change

Developing an adaptation strategy for a region as enormous and variable as the Pacific is no small task. The ecological, political, climatic and socioeconomic realities throughout the region contain all of the extremes that can be found on the planet. Countries around the Pacific have tended to form coalitions along sociocultural lines—Pacific Island nations, Latin America, or the Arctic, for instance. Yet all are bound together by the Pacific Ocean, whose climate systems, currents, and species cross the boundaries of these traditional human groupings.

Modeling multiple sea level rise stresses reveals up to twice the land at risk compared to strictly passive fooding methods

Planning community resilience to sea level rise (SLR) requires information about where, when, and how SLR hazards will impact the coastal zone. We augment passive flood mapping (the so-called “bathtub” approach) by simulating physical processes posing recurrent threats to coastal infrastructure, communities, and ecosystems in Hawai‘i (including tidally-forced direct marine and groundwater flooding, seasonal wave inundation, and chronic coastal erosion).

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) believes that ocean data and information can help save lives and resources. Aiming to promote a safe, healthy and productive ocean and resilient coastal zone, PacIOOS collects real-time data on ocean conditions, forecasts future events, and develops user-friendly tools to access this information. In collaboration with a large network of partners, PacIOOS helps inform decision-making in Pacific communities on a daily basis.

Geographic Region

Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report

Sea level rise is an inevitable outcome of global warming that will continue through many centuries even if human-generated global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were stopped today. However, much of what happens with future sea level rise will depend on our ability, or inability, to implement aggressive global carbon emissions reduction programs envisioned through the 2016 Paris Climate Accord.

Manual on Community-Based Rehabilitation

The Community-based Mangrove Rehabilitation Project of the Zoological Society of London ran from 2008 to 2012 with the aim of increasing coastal protection, food resources and livelihood income of coastal communities in Panayand Guimaras by rehabilitating abandoned government-leased fishponds to mangroves, re-establishing legally mandated coastal greenbelts, and securing tenure on coastal land through Community-based Forest Management Agreements (CBFMAs).

Threats to Mangroves from Climate Change and Adaptation Options

Mangrove ecosystems are threatened by climate change. We review the state of knowledge of mangrove vulnerability and responses to predicted climate change and consider adaptation options. Based on available evidence, of all the climate change outcomes, relative sea-level rise may be the greatest threat to mangroves. Most mangrove sediment surface elevations are not keeping pace with sea-level rise, although longer term studies from a larger number of regions are needed.

Losers and winners in coral reefs acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations

Experiments have shown that ocean acidification due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has deleterious effects on the performance of many marine organisms. However, few empirical or modelling studies have addressed the long-term consequences of ocean acidification for marine ecosystems. Here we show that as pH declines from 8.1 to 7.8 (the change expected if atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase from 390 to 750ppm, consistent with some scenarios for the end of this century) some organisms benefit, but many more lose out.