Method Helps Include Small Islands In Climate Models

By on May 12, 2016

The town of Jabor on Jaluit Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. (Credit: Jeffrey P. Donnelly / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Islands have it tough when it comes to the future predicted impacts of climate change. Rising seas are one of the biggest. But as it turns out, islands around the world have another thing to be concerned about: Most of them are too small for climate models to include.

Researchers at the University of Colorado point that out in a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. In the process of investigating, they also came up with a new way of modeling possible impacts to islands in the future so that they’re not left out.

The method relies on forecasting the conditions above islands within small areas of models. If the conditions are close enough to that of the surrounding ocean, the island doesn’t need to be included. If not, more work should be done.

Full results of the work, with more details on the island-inclusion method, are published online. In it, scientists write that around 18 million people live on small islands around the world.

Top image: The town of Jabor on Jaluit Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. (Credit: Jeffrey P. Donnelly / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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