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Coral Reef Resilience and Social Vulnerability to Climate Change: American Samoa

June 22, 2020

We present an analysis of exposure, resilience, and social vulnerability to climate change threats for the coral reefs of American Samoa, relative to the rest of the U.S. Pacific.

We focus primarily on increases in ocean temperatures and the impact of coral bleaching on American Samoa’s coral reefs and the communities that depend on them. Ocean temperatures will rise across the region, with little potential for large refuge areas from warming.

There are, however, important differences in reefs’ resilience; the ability of a reef to resist or recover from the impacts of warming and continue to provide ecosystem goods and services.

Our metrics of social vulnerability suggest that American Samoa’s human populations may face challenges, especially from the population composition, poverty, and the structure of the labor force.

Oliver TA, Kleiber D, Hospital J, Maynard J, Tracey D. 2020. Coral Reef Resilience and Social Vulnerability to Climate Change: American Samoa. Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, PIFSC Special Publication, SP-20-002d, 6 p.  https://doi.org/10.25923/t9tm-pa91.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 12/06/2021

Coral Reefs Coral Reef Monitoring