The Pacific RISA emphasizes integrated research that addresses real-world problems. Our work includes the downscaling of climate projections for specific island locations. Unavailable to date, this is critical for island climate adaptation planning. Utilizing these projections, hydrological researchers will assess the sustainability of ground water resources in island settings. We will also assess the human dimensions of drought vulnerabilities in the region.… Read the rest
At 63.8 million square miles (165.25 million square kilometers), the Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, covering approximately 33% of the Earth’s total surface . The vast ocean contains approximately 30,000 islands divided between the Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia regions . Pacific RISA works only in Pacific Islands associated with the United States (U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands or USAPIs), which include the State of Hawaiʻi, the Territory of American Samoa, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).… Read the rest
The Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program strives to enhance Pacific Island communities’ abilities to understand, plan for, and respond to a changing climate. We do this by emphasizing the engagement of communities, governments, businesses, and scientists by translating scientific research into information and materials that are valuable for stakeholders in key sectors such as water resources, coastal and marine resources, fisheries, agriculture, tourism, public health, and disaster management.… Read the rest
A persistent drought in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has reached a severe level, affecting 8,000 to 10,000 people of the northern atolls. There has been little rainfall in the northern Marshall Islands this year, and well water is turning brackish, making it unsafe to drink or use for crop irrigation. With no alternative source of fresh water, the Marshallese Government has declared the drought a national disaster.… Read the rest
The latest Hawai‘i rainfall study, published March 13 in an early online issue of Journal of Geophysical Research, supports the findings of earlier research at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, but it goes beyond analyzing historical trends and looks at a critical issue: whether the drying trend that Hawai‘i has been experiencing since 1978 will continue. The research team, led by Oliver Elison Timm at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), finds that the drying trend is indeed likely to continue through the end of the century.… Read the rest
Pacific RISA Research Fellow Dr. Kati Corlew recently returned from the 2013 US Drought Monitor Forum, held this year April 16-18 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Dr. Corlew gave a presentation that introduced to the drought monitoring community the unique circumstances encountered in the efforts to monitor and measure drought levels in the Hawaiian Islands and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). The US Drought Monitor is a national program that tracks indicators and impacts of drought in localities across the US.… Read the rest
Pacific RISA Research Fellow Dr. Kati Corlew contributed an article about climate change and social instability to the Community Psychology Practice blog last month, and I am pleased to share it with you here. Her timely article explains that a well-established tenant of community psychology–that context matters–can be helpful in predicting how societies may be impacted by climate change. The article offers research documenting how change or variability in the natural environment affects our physical and psychological well-being as individuals and communities.… Read the rest
Last week, the University of Hawai‘i Center for Pacific Island Studies (CPIS) along with various partners hosted Waves of Change: Climate Change in the Pacific Islands and Implications for Hawai‘i. The two-and-a-half-day conference, Thursday April 4 through Saturday April 6, convened leaders from across the Pacific to discuss strategies for confronting climate change impacts, already a sharp reality for vulnerable Pacific nations, including the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, French Polynesia, and Kiribati.… Read the rest
Dr. Laura Brewington, Postdoctoral Researcher with the Center for Galapagos Studies at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, will be visiting the East-West Center next week to present a lecture about integrated human-environment studies and environmental change in the Galapagos Islands.
Besides the obvious island connection, Pacific RISA is interested to learn from Dr. Brewington’s work for several reasons.… Read the rest
The 2013 United States Drought Monitor Forum will be held April 16 – 18 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Pacific RISA Research Fellow, Dr. Kati Corlew, and LT Charlene Felkley, Outreach Officer at the Pacific ENSO Applications (PEAC) Center will attend the forum and share information and updates on the status of drought issues in the Pacific Islands.
In addition to providing an opportunity for state and regional drought monitoring groups to come together and examine locally-relevant issues, the forum serves as an international meeting place to compare drought impacts and monitoring efforts.… Read the rest
Hawaiian Islands Science (HI Sci) will host a forum titled “Water Resources and Climate Change in Hawai‘i” at 5:30 PM this Thursday, March 21, 2013 at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, 2645 Dole Street, Room 101.
Here is a description of the event from HI Sci’s Facebook Page:
This week a Boston Globe article reported that the top military official for the Pacific, Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, has named climate change the most dangerous long-term threat to security in the Pacific. The Globe quoted him saying that upheaval related to the world’s changing climate “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’
As the leader of United States Pacific Command (PACOM), Admiral Locklear is in charge of monitoring an area encompassing about half of the earth’s surface, from the waters off the west coast of the U.S.… Read the rest
The Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center and the Pacific Climate Information System (PaCIS) have just launched a new resource for decision makers and the public. “Climate Impacts and Outlook for Hawai‘i and the U.S. Pacific Islands Region” is a two-page informational briefing sheet summarizing the major impacts of climate in the region during the past three months and providing an outlook of climate conditions in the next quarter.… Read the rest