CLIMATE SCIENCE

ADAPTATION FOR LOW ISLANDS AND ATOLLS

A tangled forest with extensive root networks shows a narrow water channel running back out of sight.

Mangrove vulnerability to sea-level rise Factsheet

Mangrove forests and the benefits they provide to Micronesian ecosystems and communities are threatened by accelerating sea-level rise and human activities. Read this factsheet to learn more.
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Underwater scene of colorful corals and fish

Sea-level rise impacts on coral reef and mangrove interactions and resulting coastal flooding hazards

PI: Curt Storlazzi, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Co-I: Karen Thorne, Research Ecologist, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
Funded: FY2021
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A variety of lush trees form an intergrown area.

Agroforestry in the Climate of the Marshall Islands

Agriculture and agroforestry (tree cultivation) are important activities for the Marshall Islands and other small islands to ensure food security and human health, support community self-sufficiency, promote good nutrition, and serve as windbreaks to stabilize shorelines and lessen storm damage and erosion. However, climate change is posing serious challenges for growers who struggle to adapt to climate impacts including saltwater intrusion, changing precipitation and temperature patterns, and the spread of invasive species. This tool was designed to provide Marshallese agricultural producers with information and resources that will help them adapt their growing practices to changing climate conditions.
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Waves splash against a railed cement wall that bears a "Caution: Sidewalk closed" sign.

Sea Level Forecasts

While global sea-level rise concerns many Pacific Island communities, local sea levels are affected by many factors, including basin-wide phenomena like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), making for higher or even lower water levels. This online tool provides an outlook of monthly sea level anomalies for the next one to two seasons (out to six months), combining sea level forecasts with astronomical tide predictions to provide more accurate predictions of coastal water level compared to tide predictions alone. Such forecasts may enable decision makers and local resource managers to prepare for unusual water levels, both high and low, in their areas.
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Airplane view looking down along a line of small, tree-covered islands surrounded by shallow lagoons and ocean waves

Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessment in the Marshall Islands

PI: Dean Gesch, Research Scientist, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Collaborator: Dolores deBrum Kattil, Director, Marshall Islands Conservation Society
Funded: FY2020
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Two men stand amidst elevated root systems of mangrove trees, watching another installing an instrument.

The future resiliency of mangrove forests to sea-level rise in the Western Pacific

PI: Karen Thorne, Research Ecologist, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
Co-PI: Richard MacKenzie, Research Ecologist, US Forest Service
Funded: FY2019
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Three students stand on shoreline, one holding a water sample bottle

Water Quality in the face of Climate Change: Establishing a baseline in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

PI: Tracy Wiegner, Assoc. Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-I: Bryan Tonga, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2019
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Narrow strips and circles of land rise barely above sea level.

Characterizing inundation risk for Majuro Atoll

PI: Dean Gesch, Research Scientist, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Co-PI: Jeff Danielson , Physical Geographer, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Funded: FY2017
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