The Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) released its first report, Climate Change and Pacific Islands: Indicators and Impacts (Island Press). The report is aimed at assessing the state of knowledge about climate change indicators, impacts, and adaptive capacity of the Hawaiian archipelago and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).
PIRCA is a collaborative effort engaging federal, state, and local government agencies, non-government organizations, academia, businesses, and community groups to inform and prioritize their activities in the face of a changing climate. Pacific RISA PIs were the lead editor and primary contributors to the PIRCA report.
The immediate focus has been on bringing together almost 100 scientific experts and practitioners to provide an integrated report as part of a series of regional contributions to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. The 2012 PIRCA report examines climate change impacts in Hawai‘i and the USAPIs and also assesses the adaptive capacity of Pacific Island communities.
PIRCA held three technical workshops Nov 2011-Jan 2012 to provide a foundation for the assessment and additionally will hold two subregional fora after the report’s release. These dialogues facilitate sharing, analyzing, and reporting on scientific consensus, knowledge gaps, sectoral needs, and adaptive capacity for addressing the changing climate.
The 2012 PIRCA report represents the beginning of a sustained process of assessment and information exchange among scientists, businesses, governments, and communities in the Pacific Islands region. In conjunction with other regional and national assessments, we anticipate the 2012 PIRCA will provide guidance for decision makers seeking to better understand how climate variability and change impact the Pacific Islands region and its communities.