Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38764

Vulnerable Islands: Climate Change, Tectonic Change, and Changing Livelihoods in the Western Pacific

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Title: Vulnerable Islands: Climate Change, Tectonic Change, and Changing Livelihoods in the Western Pacific
Authors: Connell, John
Keywords: atolls, climate change, sea level, tectonics, urbanization, migration
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Connell, J. 2015. Vulnerable Islands: Climate Change, Tectonic Change, and Changing Livelihoods in the Western Pacific. The Contemporary Pacific 27 (1): 1-36.
Abstract: Small Pacific islands, especially atolls, have been widely argued to be in the forefront of climate change. Recent degradation of island environments has primarily been attributed to the impact of sea-level rise. However, physical changes to several small islands can be linked to a range of physical influences and to human modification. La Niña events, cyclones, and wind waves have caused localized flooding and storm damage. Most atoll islands have not significantly changed in size, as deposition balances erosion. Many islands have experienced broadly similar environmental problems in earlier times, at different scales, and over different time periods, now accentuated by human pressures on scarce land areas and resources. Local human factors (including construction and mining), tectonic subsidence, and La Niña events have created some iconic sites that have become symbols of sea-level rise, sometimes erroneously attributed solely to global warming. Limited economic prospects in most small islands, rising expectations, and growing populations have contributed to a culture of migration, marked by international migration and urbanization, that has diversified impoverished livelihoods, extended island geographies, and resulted in accentuated population concentrations. Contemporary climate change exacerbates present environmental changes, stimulates further migration, and points to diasporic futures.
Pages/Duration: 36 p.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38764
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2015 - Volume 27, Number 1



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