Additional info from the United States Global Change Research Program
Sea level rise will have enormous effects on many island nations, including the coral reef atolls found mostly in the South Pacific. Flooding will become more frequent due to higher storm tides, and coastal land will be permanently lost as the sea inundates low-lying areas and the shorelines erode. Loss of land will reduce freshwater supplies and affect living things in coastal ecosystems. For example, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which are low-lying and therefore at great risk from increasing sea levels, have a high concentration of endangered and threatened species, some of which exist nowhere else. The loss of nesting and nursing habitat is expected to threaten the survival of already vulnerable species.
Hurricanes, typhoons, and other storm events, with their intense precipitation and storm surge, cause major impacts (PDF) to Pacific and Caribbean island communities, including loss of life, damage to infrastructure and property, and contamination of freshwater supplies. As the climate continues to warm, the peak wind intensities and near-storm precipitation from future tropical cyclones are likely to increase. This, combined with sea level rise, is expected to cause higher storm surge levels. If such events occur frequently, communities would face challenges in recovering between events, resulting in long-term deterioration of infrastructure, freshwater and agricultural resources, and other impacts.
Critical infrastructure, including homes, airports, and roads, tends to be located along the coast. Flooding related to sea-level rise and hurricanes and typhoons negatively affects port facilities and harbors, and causes closures of roads, airports, and bridges. Long-term infrastructure damage would affect social services such as disaster risk management, health care, education, management of freshwater resources, and economic activity in sectors such as tourism and agriculture.