IPCC AR6 Small Island Fact sheet
Observed warming in the Small Islands has been attributed to human influence.
Warming will continue in the 21st century for all global warming levels and future emissions
scenarios, further increasing heat extremes and heat stress (high confidence).
• Ocean acidification has increased globally as have the frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves in some areas of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans except for a decrease over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Marine heatwaves and ocean acidification will increase further with 1.5°C of global warming (high confidence) and with larger increases at 2°C and higher.
• Sea levels will very likely continue to rise around Small Islands, more so with higher emissions and over longer time periods (high confidence).
• Sea level rise coupled with storm surges and waves will exacerbate coastal inundation and the potential for increased saltwater intrusion into aquifers (high confidence).
• Sea level rise will cause shorelines to retreat along sandy coasts of most Small Islands.
• Small Islands will face more intense but generally fewer tropical cyclones, except in the central north Pacific where frequency will increase at a global warming level of 2°C and above.
IPCC AR6 Small Island Chapter
Small islands are increasingly affected by increases in temperature
The growing impacts of tropical cyclones (TCs), storm surges, droughts,
changing precipitation patterns, sea level rise (SLR), coral bleaching and
invasive species, all of which are already detectable across both natural
and human systems (very high confidence)
TCs are severely impacting small islands (high confidence). The TC intensity and intensification rates at a global scale have increased in the past 40 years with intensity trends generally remaining positive.
Intense TCs including Categories 4 and 5 TCs have threatened human life and destroyed buildings and infrastructural assets in small islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Among 29 Caribbean islands, 22 were
affected by at least one Category 4 or 5 TC in 2017. TC Maria in 2017 destroyed nearly all of Dominica’s infrastructure and losses amounted to over 225% of the annual GDP. Destruction from TC Winston in 2016
exceeded 20% of Fiji’s current GDP. TC Pam devastated Vanuatu in 2015 and caused losses and damages to the agricultural sector valued at USD 56.5 million (64.1% of GDP). Coast-focused tourism is already extremely impacted by more intense TCs