HONOLULU (AP) — A federal report released Tuesday says Hawaii and other U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands are at risk of climate changes that will affect nearly every aspect of life.
Here are some key findings for Hawaii and the Pacific from the National Climate Assessment:
— Global warming will likely stress Hawaii’s fresh water supplies. East-West Center Research Fellow Victoria Keener says rising sea levels are expected to push salt water into aquifers that store the state’s drinking water. The report says freshwater supplies that are already constrained will become even more limited on many islands.
— Warmer oceans and acidification will strongly affect coral reef fish. Rising ocean temperatures are leading to more coral bleaching and disease outbreaks in reefs.
— Animals and plants native to Pacific islands, especially those at higher elevations, will be at a higher risk of extinction because of increased temperatures and reduced rainfall.