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Pacific Region

NOAA/NCEI's Pacific Region Climate Services deliver tools and information to communities and businesses to reduce climate risk and improve resiliency. Located across a vast expanse of ocean, the Pacific Islands are exposed to changes in climate and weather that affect every aspect of life. Ocean and island ecosystems are changing with warming air and ocean temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, changing frequencies and intensities of storms, decreasing base flow in streams, rising sea levels, and changing ocean chemistry. Together, these changes will make it increasingly difficult for many Pacific Islanders to sustain their unique communities and cultures.

Recent Activities

The U.S. - Affiliated Pacific Islands

The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands
  • Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlooks
    NOAA’s Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlooks draw on sources across NOAA to provide concise and accessible climate information for various regions of the United States, including the Pacific Region. These syntheses discuss the major climate events during the past three months and contain historical seasonal assessments as well as climate predictions and projections.
  • Hawaii and USAPI Climate Summary
    This webpage provides access to information used to develop the quarterly outlook in the form of a “dashboard” that aggregates climate variability-related content via links to products and information from a mix of primarily US agencies, institutions, and organizations.
  • NOAA Technical Report NOS CO-OPS 086 - Patterns and Projections of High Tide Flooding
    This report provides an objective and nationally consistent set of impact thresholds for minor/moderate/major coastal flooding. We use the derived threshold for minor flooding, which we refer to as ‘high tide’ flooding (also known as ‘nuisance’, ‘sunny day’ and ‘recurrent tidal’ flooding), to assess nationally how exposure—and potential vulnerability—to high tide flooding has and will continue to change with changing sea levels.
  • 2014-2016 El Niño Assessment Report: An Overview of the Impacts of the 2014-16 El
    Niño on the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI)

    The 2014-2016 El Niño was one of the strongest events on record.  A “wave” of conditions affected the region, progressing from the Western Pacific to the Eastern Pacific, and are detailed in this report, including impacts on public safety, freshwater resources and food security, public health, coral and marine ecosystems, and community livelihoods.
  • State of Environmental Conditions in Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands under a Changing Climate: 2017
    This report describes the current state of environmental conditions in Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) in terms of a set of foundational measures or indicators of change. This information about the trends and patterns in physical, biological, chemical, and ecological observations under a changing climate is intended to facilitate communication among and inform decisions of a broad spectrum of public and private sector stakeholders.
  • The Pacific Islands Climate Storybook
    The Pacific Islands Climate Storybook is a compilation of technical material, process guides, and activities. Use of the Storybook proved to be imperative to conduct the Climate Services Dialogues and build Climate Stories. The materials include a model agenda reflecting process flow, breakout guidance that contains sample questions, and examples of outcomes such as historical timelines, and a climate story template. Background and technical presentations provided associated with the various modules.
  • Probabilistic Estimates of Extreme Still Water Levels Under a Changing Climate
    The probabilistic estimates of extreme still water levels under a changing climate for specific locations in the Pacific Islands are part of a collaborative multiphase approach to develop innovative methodologies, best practices, and products in the region. Using preliminary results, they support vulnerability assessment, climate adaptation planning, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coasts Workshop, February 2018
    Understanding and predicting coastal flooding is a challenging and urgent problem in the presence of sea-level rise, a changing climate, and ever-growing coastal populations. Although this issue is global in scale, understanding and predicting flooding along tropical coral reef-lined shorelines presents unique challenges owing to the complexity of these shorelines which have been little studied and for which there is little data. 

Decision Support Tools

Datasets

  • Asia–Pacific Data–Research Center
    The Asia–Pacific Data–Research Center increases understanding of climate variability in the Asia–Pacific region by developing the computational, data management, and networking infrastructure necessary to make data resources readily accessible and usable.
  • NOAA OceanWatch - Central Pacific
    NOAA OceanWatch - Central Pacific acquires and processes satellite information and creates a variety of satellite data products for the Pacific Ocean region to serve as an updated source of daily regional satellite oceanographic observations.
  • Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System Voyager
    The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System Voyager is an interactive map interface for visualizing and downloading oceanographic observations, forecasts, and other geospatial data and information related to the marine environment and beyond.
  • University of Hawaii Sea Level Center
    The University of Hawaii Sea Level Center collects, processes, distributes, and analyzes tide gauge data from around the world in support of climate research.

Reports and Resources

Indicators of Climate Change in the Pacific Islands (fromm the PIRCA report)

Indicators of Climate Change in the Pacific Islands (from the PIRCA report)
  • Climate Change and Pacific Islands: Indicators and Impacts
    This report developed by the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) aimed at assessing the state of climate knowledge, impacts, and adaptive capacity of Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.
  • Climate Change in the Pacific: Scientific Assessment and New Research
    The Climate Change in the Pacific is a rigorously researched and peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the climate of the Western Pacific region. Building on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this two-volume publication represents a comprehensive resource on the climate.
  • Pacific ENSO Update
    This bulletin of the Pacific El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Applications Climate Center provides information on climate variability related to the ENSO climate cycle for the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.
  • Island Climate Update
    This monthly summary of the climate in the tropical South Pacific islands, with an outlook for the coming months, assists in dissemination of climate information in the Pacific region. This bulletin is a multinational project with collaboration from a number of Pacific nations and organizations.
  • Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership
    The Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership developed a detailed strategic plan to collaboratively improve climate knowledge among the region’s students and citizens in ways that exemplify modern science and indigenous environmental knowledge, address the urgency of climate change impacts, and honor indigenous cultures.

Training and Professional Development

  • National Domestic Preparedness Training Center
    The National Domestic Preparedness Training Center engages with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the University of Hawaii as well as with partners across the Pacific region to integrate the delivery of its trainings, products, and services.

Pacific Region RCSD – John Marra

John Marra

Dr. John J. Marra is the Regional Climate Services Director for the Pacific Region, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at the East–West Center. For over 30 years, Dr. Marra has been working to bridge science, policy, and information technology to address issues related to natural hazards risk reduction and climate adaptation planning. His particular area of expertise is the development and dissemination of data and products associated with coastal inundation and erosion. Dr. Marra previously worked for the NOAA Integrated Data and Environmental Applications Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. While there he spearheaded a project on extreme storms—strong winds, heavy rains, and high seas—in the Pacific. Dr. Marra also worked at the NOAA Pacific Services Center, providing technical assistance to Pacific Island jurisdictions and supporting the integration of multidisciplinary research and observations to address issues associated with coastal natural hazards and community resilience. Before arriving in Hawaii in April 2002, he worked independently for almost 10 years in Newport, Oregon, as a consulting geologist for a broad range of private and public sector clients. Prior to that, he was the North Coast Field Representative for the State of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development. Dr. Marra received his PhD in geology from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand.

John J. Marra
NOAA Regional Climate Services Director, Pacific Region
NESDIS/NCEI
1845 WASP Boulevard, Building 176
Honolulu, HI 96818
Phone: 1-808-725-5974
Email: john.marra@noaa.gov