Supporting a collaborative regional assessment of future climate impacts on natural resources in the Pacific Islands

In order to better document, manage, and adapt to the impacts of future climate variability and change on diverse natural resources in Hawaiʻi and the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI), several regional climate research programs including the Pacific RISA, the PICCC, the NOAA RCSD, and the East-West Center came together in 2011-2012 to collaboratively produce the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) (Keener, 2012) for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA). Natural resource managers in sectors such as freshwater, coastal inundation and hazard response, and marine and terrestrial ecosystems need frequently updated summaries of regional and local climate trends, projections, and impacts to better include future climate in their planning strategies. Managers also desire translation of technical climate variables into sectorally relevant impacts and subsequent action and policy responses (Spooner et al., 2013). The proposed collaborative Sustained Assessment Specialist position for the next round of the PIRCA process will provide both timely regional and island level climate summaries and conduct research to identify and define climate variable thresholds that lead to management and adaptation actions on an island scale.

Image shows the cover of the 2012 PIRCA product.
PacRISA has led the effort to produce a Regional Climate Assessment as part of the National Climate Assessments.




Victoria Keener
Research Fellow, PacRISA, East-West Center, UH Mānoa


John Marra
Director of Pacific Regional Climate Services, NOAA, East-West Center, UH Mānoa