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This report identifies needs and opportunities in the United States Asian Pacific Islands (USAPI) region relative to climate change science, management, and adaptation strategies. The region includes the territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI), and the independent states of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). This inventory is responsive to the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC) Strategic Science Agenda and its articulation with the region.
This Project Snapshot provides a brief overview of the project "Coral reef resilience to climate change in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands".
This project snapshot provides a brief overview of the project "Hawaiian Seascapes and Their Management Implications".
This downloadable PDF research feature summarizes the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center-supported project "Modeling Climate-Driven Changes to Dominant Vegetation in the Hawaiian Islands".
Reducing coral reef vulnerability to climate change requires that managers understand and support the natural resilience of coral reefs. We define coral reef resilience as: the capacity of a reef to resist and/or recover from disturbance given its probable exposure regime, and maintain provision of ecosystem goods and services. Spatial variation in exposure to disturbance and the resilience of reefs in the face of those disturbances will determine the fate of coral reefs within management jurisdictions. This project sought to: (1) undertake ecological resilience assessments in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which is in the west Pacific near Guam, and (2) collaboratively develop a decision-support...
This Project Snapshot provides a brief overview of the project "Development of Statistical Methods to Estimate Baseline and Future Low Flow Characteristics of Ungaged Streams in Hawai`i".
Abstract (from Background Detailed assessments of species responses to climate change are uncommon, owing to the limited nature of most ecological and local climate data sets. Exceptions, such as the case of the Haleakalā silversword, can provide important insights into the complexity of biological responses to changing climate conditions. We present a time series of decadal population censuses, combined with a pair of early population projections, which together span the past 80 years of demographic history for this alpine plant. Results The time series suggests a strong population recovery from the 1930s through the 1980s, likely...
This data set describes the predicted daily climate (temperature and rainfall) for low, mid, and high-elevations on Mona Loa, Island of Hawaii from 2098-2100. Climate predictions are based on 3 alternative climate scenarios (RCP 4.5, A1B, and RCP 8.5) - see Liao et al. 2015 for more details and climate references. The predicted daily risk of susceptible Hawaiian honeycreepers are based on the daily climate data, mosquito abundance and other factors. Also see Samuel et al. 2011 The dynamics, transmission, and population impacts of avian malaria in native Hawaiian birds: a modeling approach. Ecological Applications 21:2960-2973 for description of the epidemiological model used for avian malaria risk predictions.
Hawaiʻi is considered a worldwide biodiversity hotspot, with nearly 90 percent of its native plants found nowhere else in the world. However, about half of these native plants are imperiled by threats including human development, non-native species, and climate change. Through this project, scientists modeled the relative vulnerability of over 1,000 native plant species to the effects of climate change. A panel of experts in Hawaiian plant species assisted with the development of the model and verified its results. From the model, researchers were able to develop a vulnerability score for each plant species and identify categories of species with high, medium, and low vulnerability to climate change. This information...
This final report is for the Pacific Islands CSC funded project "Very Fine Resolution Dynamical Downscaling of Past and Future Climates for Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Islands of O`ahu and Kaua`i".
Hawaiian shorelines and near-shore waters have long been used for cultural activities, food gathering and fishing, and recreation. As seascapes are physically altered by changing climate, the ways in which people experience these environments will likely change as well. Local perspectives of how seascapes are changing over time can help managers better understand and manage these areas for both natural persistence and human use. For this project, researchers conducted interviews and surveys of surfers and other ocean users to gather observations and perceptions of change over time at Hilo Bay, Hawaiʻi. They combined these results with historical data on public beach use and biophysical data from monitoring buoys...
This project snapshot provides a brief overview of the project "Assessing the Potential Effects of Climate Change on Vegetation in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park".
The Hawaiian Islands are home to a variety of native species that have been subject to numerous threats including development of habitat for human use, predation by introduced herbivores, and competition with invasive plant species. In addition to these threats global climate change is expected to increase temperature and alter patterns of precipitation in Hawaii. This project models the relative vulnerability of native plant species to the effects of climate change, in order to assist resource managers in effectively allocating limited resources to efficiently preserve and protect current and future habitat for native plants. We modeled vulnerability by creating an expert system – a network model linking biological...
Abstract (from Traditional long-term (decadal) and large-scale (hundreds of kilometers) shoreline change modeling techniques, known as single transect, or ST, often overfit the data because they calculate shoreline statistics at closely spaced intervals along the shore. To reduce overfitting, recent work has used spatial basis functions such as polynomials, B splines, and principal components. Here, we explore an alternative to such basis functions by using regularization to reduce the dimension of the ST model space. In our regularized-ST method, traditional ST is an end member of a continuous spectrum of models. We use an evidence information criterion...
Abstract (from A comprehensive understanding of the spatial, seasonal, and diurnal patterns in cloud cover frequency over the Hawaiian Islands was developed using high-resolution image data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. The Terra and Aqua MODIS cloud mask products, which provide the confidence that a given 1-km pixel is unobstructed by cloud, were obtained for the entire MODIS time series (10-plus years) over the main Hawaiian Islands. Monthly statistics were generated from the daily cloud mask data, including mean cloud cover...
(1) This written report summarizes and synthesizes results of literature review, interviews, and workshops, providing the scientific basis for and extension strategies for the management recommendations provided in the "green website" [Data Input New Collection]. The report includes an addendum regarding reference bibliographies and a references list with citations. (2) Selected, unusual references that are not readily available online or through standard academic sources were collected by the project. (3) Selected photographs are retained by the project in electronic form.
These data are netcdf files of the projected timing of the onset of thermal stress severe enough (>8 Degree Heating Weeks) to cause coral bleaching 2x per decade and 10x per decade (annual) under emissions scenarios RCP8.5 and RCP4.5. The projected timing (a year between 2006 and 2100) is the data value. Values are only shown for the ~60,000 four-km pixels where coral reefs are known to occur.
A beautiful plant found only on Haleakala may become rarer. A recent study coauthored by UH researcher Paul Krushelnycky shows changing climate patterns allowing fog and rain to reach higher elevations are threatening the plant but he cautions all is not lost. He joined us in our studio to tell us more. Paul is currently Assistant Researcher, at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.
The beaches of the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 9 million visitors each year, who inject around $15.6 billion into the state’s economy and support almost 200,000 jobs. Beyond their economic importance, Hawaiian beaches are also culturally and ecologically valuable. However, climate change driven sea-level rise is causing many beaches to disappear, endangering property, infrastructure, and critical habitats. The goal of this project was to develop a method for forecasting erosion-vulnerable beach areas that could be used in coastal management planning. Researchers focused on the island of Kauaʻi, modeling beach response to rising sea level over the next century and producing maps that provide information about...
This downloadable PDF research feature summarizes the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center-supported project "Climate Change Research in Support of Hawaiian Ecosystem Management: An Integrated Approach". The key goals of this project were 1) to understand how changes in the Earth’s future climate system will affect the frequency and severity of extreme weather events in Hawai`i, 2) to support studies of the ecological impacts of climate change on native Hawaiian plants and animals and 3) to provide information needed by natural resource managers charged with preserving native biodiversity.

map background search result map search result map Establishing Climate Change Vulnerability Rankings for Hawaiian Native Plants Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Changing Hawaiian Seascapes and Their Management Implications Predicted climate and avian malaria risk to Hawaiian honeycreepers on the Island of Hawaii from 2098-2100 Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Predicted climate and avian malaria risk to Hawaiian honeycreepers on the Island of Hawaii from 2098-2100 Changing Hawaiian Seascapes and Their Management Implications Establishing Climate Change Vulnerability Rankings for Hawaiian Native Plants