USGS Research Geologist and Oceanographer Curt Storlazzi will look at “Coral Reefs, Climate Change, and Atoll Sustainability” at the next USGS public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:00 pm. Topics include:
- Sea level is rising, threatening low-lying atoll islands throughout the western Pacific Ocean.
- Climate change is degrading the coral reefs that atoll islands have developed upon, decreasing the reefs’ ability to reduce wave energy and thus wave-driven island flooding.
- Wave-driven island overwash events threaten the limited freshwater and agricultural resources on these low-lying islands.
- We are trying to assess the impact of climate change and sea-level rise on the infrastructure, freshwater availability, and natural and historic resources of atoll islands under a variety of scenarios to determine “tipping points” – when islands are no longer habitable.
The free lecture will take place at Rambo Auditorium Bldg. 3, at the USGS in Menlo Park.