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Archival Science

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 51–67 | Cite as

Paradise lost? Pacific island archives threatened by climate change

  • Matthew Gordon-ClarkEmail author
Original paper

Abstract

Over the past 10 years, a clear pattern of increasing sea-level rises has been recorded across the Pacific region. As international work progresses on climate change, it is becoming clear that the expected rise of sea levels will have significant impacts upon low-lying islands and nations. Sea-level rises of less than 0.5 m are generally suggested, although some researchers have made more drastic projections. This paper describes the second stage of research into the impacts of climate change upon the national archival collections in low-lying Pacific islands and nations. This article follows on the argument that archival collection relocation will be necessary and sets the boundaries for further research. It will summarize current research into climate change models and predicted sea-level rises, identify Pacific islands and nations that will be the focus of detailed further research by setting a range of research boundaries based on the known geography of nations within the Pacific, arguing for a specific measurement of “low-elevation”, outlining other risk factors likely to affect the survival of threatened national archival collections and naming those islands and nations that are thus deemed to be at greatest risk of flooding and thus likely to need to relocate their archives. The goal is to demonstrate how archivists might inform the governmental policy in threatened islands and nations as well as what other nations might do to offer assistance.

Keywords

Climate change Pacific islands Archives Low-lying nations 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Records of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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