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
Pacific RISA research assistant Duncan McIntosh recently attended the “Pacific Islands Climate Services Dialog: Preserving Freshwater Resources and Minimizing the Impacts of Drought” workshop which was held 23 to 25 April, 2014 in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is conducting a series of activities to enhance scientific and technical capacity to support climate change adaptation in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). … Read the rest
HONOLULU (May 6th, 2014) – Among major climate change concerns and challenges already being felt in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands are damage to coral reefs, decreasing freshwater supplies, increasing temperatures and greater stresses on native marine and terrestrial ecosystems, according to the 3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment released by the White House today.
Several authors of the Hawai‘i and Pacific Islands section of the national report discussed the regional concerns in a special briefing this morning at the East-West Center in Honolulu.… Read the rest
This November, East-West Center Fellows and Pacific RISA researchers Victoria Keener (third from top right) and Laura Brewington (bottom, right) worked with the Ko‘olau Mountains Watershed Partnership on Oahu Island to remove invasive species and replant endemic kawelu grass at Konahuanui, the highest region of the Ko‘olau mountain range.
In Hawai‘i, freshwater and forest resources are inextricably intertwined. Rainfall and fog drip captured by forests supply surface stream water and groundwater from the ridge to the reef, along natural geographic boundaries.… Read the rest
The emphasis on leadership in the Pacific region is fast becoming highlighted at many regional meetings, not only on the topic of Climate Change but also across areas such as Governance, Economics, and suchlike. The Pacific RISA team had the opportunity to share information on climate change impacts in the region with professional associates of the Pacific Island Leadership Program (PILP), run by the East-West Center on October 15th, 2013. … Read the rest
During her postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Galapagos Studies at the University of North Carolina, Pacific RISA Fellow Dr. Laura Brewington conducted field research in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, using a methodology that is relevant to Hawaii and other Pacific islands that are vulnerable to climate change and other factors. Mixed methods were used to assess social and ecological vulnerability of coastal environments, and form the baseline for future change detection.… Read the rest
Drs. Melissa Finucane and Victoria Keener were a part of a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, Washington DC yesterday where the topic of the day were the impacts of climate change in the Pacific and what the implications of these would be for policy and decision makers. The discussions were centered around the East-West Center led Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA), which is also to be included as part of the regional input to the federal government’s forthcoming National Climate Assessment.… Read the rest
The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional and scientific organization of psychologists in the United States made up of more than 134,000 members. The most recent APA Convention was held in Honolulu, Hawaii from July 31st to August 4th. Pacific RISA was represented by Dr. Kati Corlew, Research Fellow, who presented a poster on the continued network analysis research of climate change professionals in the region.… Read the rest
On Tuesday, waves inundated the southern part of Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), flooding homes and causing extensive damage to property. The waves reached two and a half meters high, according to Majuro Weather Service meteorologist Reggie White, who serves on Pacific RISA’s Advisory Committee. The flooding caused the Majuro airport to close for the day, after the runway seawall crumbled under the weight of the waves, and a United Airlines flight bound for Majuro was redirected.… 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