Federal Coordinating Lead Author:
David Reidmiller, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Lead Author:
Katherine Weingartner, U.S. Global Change Research Program/ICF (through September 2017)
Contributing Authors:
Apurva Dave, U.S. Global Change Research Program/ICF

Looking Abroad: How Other Nations Approach a National Climate Assessment


The Australian government published a Climate Change in the Pacific (CCP) report in 2011. The regional-level report provides a peer-reviewed scientific assessment of how the climate of the western Pacific region is changing. The report was produced through a collaboration between Australian government agencies and Pacific countries. It reviews current trends and projections of climate change for 14 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Timor-Leste, and identifies research and knowledge gaps in the region.

Assessment Mandate and Objectives

The significant research gaps identified in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) served as the foundation for the creation of Australia’s Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP). The objectives of the program are to conduct comprehensive climate change science, build capacity in partner countries across the Pacific to undertake scientific research, and disseminate information to partner countries’ stakeholders and other parties. As part of Australia’s five-year International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, the PCCSP produced the Climate Change in the Pacific report in 2011. The report is intended to help countries in the Pacific prioritize adaptation measures, assess their vulnerability, develop adaptation strategies, and address research gaps described in the IPCC’s AR4.

Assessment Process

The PCCSP is a collaborative research partnership among Australian government agencies, 14 Pacific Island countries, and Timor-Leste, as well as regional and international organizations. The 14 Pacific countries are the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Sāmoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. To ensure that research is of relevance to partner country decision-makers, coordinated information sharing, capacity building, and engagement have been conducted throughout all research areas and among all partner countries.

Assessment Content Structure

This report contains two volumes. The first provides a detailed assessment and analysis of changes in the observed and projected climate of the PCCSP region. The second includes climate change reports for each partner country. Each of the 15 reports includes sections on seasonal cycles, climate variability, observed annual trends, and projections for atmospheric and oceanic variables.

International Dimensions

Climate Change in the Pacific is a regional scientific assessment supported by the government of Australia that involves collaboration with multiple countries, both within the Pacific region and beyond it through the contributions of international organizations.

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