Climate change impacts on tropical atoll communities

This project is available from the academic year onwards.

Theme: Natural & Biological Hazards

Primary Supervisor:

Ilan Kelman

Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL

Ilan Kelman's Profile Picture

Project Description:

Some residents of tropical atoll communities are considering migration due to climate change’s impacts. Many more might think about it in the future. Yet limited empirical evidence exists to (i) demonstrate the geomorphological responses of low-lying islands to changing oceans and (ii) garner local knowledge about experiences of multiple changes, e.g. due to tectonic subsidence or uplift.
To seek evidence of recent relative and absolute sea-level and other ocean and coastal changes, this project will conduct qualitative interviews for local knowledge and quantitative analyses of coastline and elevation changes through existing remote sensed data and on-site surveying in locations with geodetic benchmarks.
Locations that could yield adequate qualitative and quantitative data will be selected. Possible attributions of observed changes will be made to local or wider environmental factors and will indicate whether the changes are cyclic or a changing baseline.

Policy Impact of Research:

The research results will be communicated to the people involved through local traditional methods, as instructed by community members, and to island governments through policy seminars and policy briefs.

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