Fourth National Climate Assessment

NCA4 Web Site

Coastal Communities and Systems

The majority of Pacific island communities are confined to a narrow band of land within a few feet of sea level. Sea level rise is now beginning to threaten critical assets such as ecosystems, cultural sites and practices, economies, housing and energy, transportation, and other forms of infrastructure. By 2100, increases of 1–4 feet in global sea level are very likely, with even higher levels than the global average in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands. This would threaten the food and freshwater supply of Pacific island populations and jeopardize their continued sustainability and resilience. As sea level rise is projected to accelerate strongly after mid-century, adaptation strategies that are implemented sooner can better prepare communities and infrastructure for the most severe impacts.