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Will climate change be harmful for small tropical islands? The case of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil

Luisa Maria Diele-Viegas, Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha


The Fernando de Noronha archipelago is a key site for biodiversity conservation, besides being one of the most searched destinies for ecotourism in Brazil. We present the first study focusing on the evaluation of this important archipelago’s exposure to climate change.  Our metric was based on the differences between current and future predictions of climatic and bioclimatic variables obtained from the WorldClim dataset. For the predictions, we considered two models of radiative forcing, the first optimistic and the second a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse gases emissions. We showed an increase in average temperature and decrease in annual precipitation for the archipelago, although for the driest period of the year the precipitation is likely to increase. We also recovered a decrease in differences between interannual temperature variation and diurnal temperature variation, indicating a shift in the seasonality patterns. These changes can be potentially harmful to local biodiversity and consequently to local economy, since it is based on touristic activities that involves natural environments. The maintenance of local vegetation cover is likely to be a good strategy to avoid the local increase of environmental temperature, however, a global commitment to decrease the greenhouse gases emissions is paramount to avoid a potential collapse of small islands around the world, including the Fernando de Noronha archipelago.


Climate emergency; greenhouse gases emissions; small islands; climatic exposure

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