CLIMATE SCIENCE

COASTAL HAZARDS

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 hand measuring the size of 'opihi on the rocks.

US Fish & Wildlife Service ‘Opihi Project Podcast

A fifteen minute podcast hosted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service highlighting MCC graduate student Lauren Kapono and her work monitoring 'opihi (Cellana spp.) along the Kalaemanō shoreline of Hawaiʻi Island.
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Plant seedlings grow in small black buckets

Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to increased salinity from climate change

PI: Kasey Barton, Associate Professor of Botany, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Anna McCormick, Department of Botany, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2020
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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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Students examine rocks and marine life at the oceanʻs edge.

He ala ʻae kai – The Path Near the Sea: Climate Inflictions Upon Intertidal

PI: John Burns , Assistant Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Lauren Kapono , Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo; Haunani Kane, Post-doctoral Researcher, Marine Science Department, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2020
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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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A small reef fish, with bright yellow rings around the eyes.

How will changing reefscapes affect the prevalence of ciguatera on Hawaiian reefs?

PI: Tim Grabowski, Fish Biologist, Hawai‘i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, USGS/Adjunct Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Nikola Rodriguez, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2020
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