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Thomas W. Giambelluca

Abstract (from http://climatechangeresponses.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40665-016-0015-2): Background Detailed assessments of species responses to climate change are uncommon, owing to the limited nature of most ecological and local climate data sets. Exceptions, such as the case of the Haleakalā silversword, can provide important insights into the complexity of biological responses to changing climate conditions. We present a time series of decadal population censuses, combined with a pair of early population projections, which together span the past 80 years of demographic history for this alpine plant. Results The time series suggests a strong population recovery from the 1930s through the 1980s, likely...
Abstract (from http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0088.1): A comprehensive understanding of the spatial, seasonal, and diurnal patterns in cloud cover frequency over the Hawaiian Islands was developed using high-resolution image data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. The Terra and Aqua MODIS cloud mask products, which provide the confidence that a given 1-km pixel is unobstructed by cloud, were obtained for the entire MODIS time series (10-plus years) over the main Hawaiian Islands. Monthly statistics were generated from the daily cloud mask data, including mean cloud cover...
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Island tropical montane cloud forests may be among the most sensitive of the world's ecosystems to global climate change. Measurements in and above a montane cloud forest on East Maui, Hawaii, document steep microclimatic gradients. Relatively small climate-driven shifts in patterns of atmospheric circulation are likely to trigger major local changes in rainfall, cloud cover, and humidity. Increased interannual variability in precipitation and hurricane incidence would provide additional stresses on island biota that are highly vulnerable to disturbance-related invasion of non-native species. Because of the exceptional sensitivity of these microclimates and forests to change, they may provide valuable ‘listening...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Climatic Change
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Transmission of avian malaria in the Hawaiian Islands varies across altitudinal gradients and is greatest at elevations below 1500 m where both temperature and moisture are favorable for the sole mosquito vector, Culex quinquefasciatus, and extrinsic sporogonic development of the parasite, Plasmodium relictum. Potential consequences of global warming on this system have been recognized for over a decade with concerns that increases in mean temperatures could lead to expansion of malaria into habitats where cool temperatures currently limit transmission to highly susceptible endemic forest birds. Recent declines in two endangered species on the island of Kaua'i, the ‘Akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) and ‘Akeke'e (Loxops...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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