Greg Asner, Ph.D.

Director, Arizona State University, Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. Serves on faculty of School of Ocean Futures, and School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Location: Hilo, HI

Dr. Greg Asner is an expert on the climate impacts occurring in Hawaiʻi including those related to ocean warming, marine heatwaves, loss of coral reefs, ocean acidification, extreme weather events, wildfires, and ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. For example, marine heatwaves caused by climate change are catastrophic to corals, which provide habitat for nearshore fisheries and coastal protection from waves, storms, and erosion. Between 2014 and 2019, Hawaiʻi experienced three unprecedented large-scale coral bleaching events. Sixty percent of coral reefs on the west side of Hawai‘i Island experienced bleaching, 50% of the corals in the region perished, and some reef areas suffered a 90% mortality rate. Dr. Asner reports that climate change has been accelerating for decades and current concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are already at life-threatening levels that are harming the state’s ecosystems and natural resources that the youth plaintiffs depend on. Dr. Asner’s report is important to provide expertise supporting the facts underlying youth plaintiffs’ claims and the impacts they are experiencing.