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Title:Tropical Climate Research Breakdown
Author(s):Higley, Melinda C.
Subject(s):Geology
Abstract:This is an image from our science team's broken-down boat in the lagoon of Kiritimati Island, Kiribati, as we await a rescue squad with engine oil. The boat driver, TioneT, wearing long sleeves for protection from the equatorial sun, scans the horizon for the rescue boat, while sea birds fly overhead looking for food. Although the sea birds in this scene appear to be going about business as usual, life feels more uncertain for the people of Kiritimati, such as TioneT. As a low lying coral atoll, Kiritimati is vulnerable to climate change, with the most immediate problem being the availability of fresh water. To help predict how the hydroclimate of the central tropical Pacific will change in the future, we glimpse the past through core samples obtained by coring into the mud of the lagoon and numerous salty lakes, some of which are so remote it is more efficient get there by boat. With the core samples, we gain information about the history of the hydrological cycle going back hundreds of years to form a picture of hydrological extremes possible for the island, which has implications for freshwater resources, flooding, and drought for the growing population of Kiritimati.
Issue Date:2018-04
Type:Text
image
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/99834
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Melinda Higley
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-04-30


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