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21st Century High-Resolution Climate Projections for Guam and American Samoa


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While home to many people and a rich diversity of unique plant and animal life, the U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of their small size, geographical remoteness, and exposure to threats such as sea-level rise and increased storm surge. Developing predictions of future conditions is often the first step in helping decision makers and communities plan for change. However, to date, available global climate models have been too coarse in resolution to be useful for planning in the context of small, isolated islands. This project produced the first-ever set of high-resolution climate projections for Guam and American Samoa, providing information on key variables [...]

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“Cetti Bay, Guam - Public Domain”
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The Pacific Islands are expected to be particularly vulnerable to the anticipated impacts of climate change due to their small, geographically isolated ecosystems and economies, and are extremely susceptible to rising sea-levels. Despite a high level of concern for the Pacific Islands, there is currently a lack of adequate small-scale projections of climate change in the American Samoa region. This study will use high-resolution (one kilometer) climate models to project anticipated 21st century changes in such things as rainfall, surface temperature and wind on Guam in the Mariana Islands and Tutuila in American Samoa. This work will build on and leverage ongoing modeling efforts of current and predicted climate change in Hawai`i. Results from this study, including estimates of the change in seasonal climatology and the frequency of extreme weather events, will be available for use by other researchers to inform hydrological and ecosystem models to predict future impacts of climate change.

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4 - Vulnerability and Adaptation
6 - Data, Infrastructure, Analysis, and Modeling
5 - Monitoring and Observation Systems
1 - Climate Science and Modeling
7 - Communication of Science Findings
3 - Response of Biological Systems to Climate Change
2 - Response of Physical Systems to Climate Change

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