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How islands and the communities that inhabit them respond to climate change and particularly sea-level rise is a critical issue for the coming century. Islands in Roviana did not experience a change in the rate of loss over the study period, with island loss rates averaging 0.1% pa, −0.2% pa and 0.1% pa across the three time periods.50% loss moved in a south, south-east or easterly direction between 19.Small remote islands are viewed as particularly vulnerable (Wong 2014). The centroid of Kale on Isabel was displaced 293 m on a bearing of 207° between 19 before the remaining sediment was transported off the reef platform into deep water.The higher local rate of historical rise is the result of both a larger global averaged rate of sea-level rise (Church and White 2011) and also stronger trade winds since 1990 (Merrifield and Maltrud 2011) which are directly related to the decreasing Pacific Decadal Oscillation index (Zhang and Church 2012).These PDO and ENSO conditions may ease in the Solomon Islands in coming decades to produce sea-level rise rates closer to the global average.Low-lying reef islands in the Solomon Islands provide a valuable window into the future impacts of global sea-level rise. These locations provide an indication of the wave climate at the Roviana and Isabel study sites during this period.Sea-level rise has been predicted to cause widespread erosion and inundation of low-lying atolls in the central Pacific. Data for these locations were extracted from the nested grid (4 arcmin ~7 km) for the Australian region.While there is significant interannual variability, the tide gauge and altimeter data indicate a rapid rise in sea levels in the Solomon Islands between 19 of about 15 cm (average of 7 mm yr).
Understanding these local factors that increase the susceptibility of islands to coastal erosion is critical to guide adaptation responses for these remote Pacific communities. Hetaheta, Sogomou and Kale experienced the largest loss of island area between 19, declining in size by 155 790 m Figure 2. (a) Coastline recession on Sogomou Island between 19, (b) view from the eroding eastern end of Sogomou looking back towards the remainder of the island, (c) coastline recession on Kale Island between 19. Reef island dynamics were also tracked using mass centre analysis (Paris and Mitasova 2014) to determine the centroid of each island over time. The vegetation edge of each island for each historical image was digitised and used as a long-term shoreline change proxy (Liu 2014) (see supplementary table 1 for uncertainty assessments).The volcanic islands of Melanesia are typically considered to be less vulnerable to sea-level rise due to high elevations and low population densities (Barnett and Adger 2003, Nunn making it amongst the most sparsely populated of Pacific Island nations. Understanding the drivers of this rapid shoreline recession and contrasting erosion rates between different areas within this region is critical to provide a foundation for local adaptation strategies.Despite this low population density, the majority of human settlements are located in low-lying coastal areas, and reef islands are becoming increasingly densely populated due to restricted flat land adjacent to the coast. Climate change induced sea-level rise is anticipated to be one of the greatest challenges for humanity over the coming century.