After Hurricane, Hawaiian Island Vanishes. Will Trump Blink?

A Hawaiian Atoll or islet just vanished off the map after Hurricane Walaka. Will that make the Trump admin take a second look at their assumptions?

If you haven’t heard of the East Island in Hawaii, there’s a good chances are you may not get  chance to see it again. That’s right, it does not exist anymore. Wiped off the map by a single, powerful hurricane, widely blamed on climate change.

The East island, in the French Frigate Shoals, was a  small atoll around 550 miles northwest of Honolulu that formed part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, was entirely washed over by storm surge from Hurricane Walaka this month, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) satellite images show.

 

 

 

 

Believed to be formed some 2000 years, it was only 11 acres—around a half mile long and 400 feet wide, but was an important habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals, Hawaiian green sea turtles and several species of seabirds.

This islet was decimated by powerful Hurricane Walaka — one of the most intense storms ever recorded in the Pacific Ocean — which effectively wiped it off the map overnight. Alarming the environmentalists around the world, it shows the real time action of climate change. “It’s one more chink in the wall of the network of ecosystem diversity on this planet that is being dismantled,” University of Hawaii climate scientist Chip Fletcher said in disbelief.

Randy Kosaki, NOAA’s deputy superintendent of research and field operations says that researchers have long known that low-lying islets, such as East Island, would gradually be swallowed by rising sea levels, but had expected the process to happen slowly over the next 100 years. He adds that this is a ‘wake up call’ noting that other nearby islands have already been engulfed by the rising ocean.

While previously too, islands have dissappeared, and formed too, by volcanic activity for instance, the East Island case appears to be a confirmed case of rising water levels, and a more intense than usual hurricane putting paid to the Island’s existence. But if you think this will set off the alarm that matters, in the inner circle of the POTUS, you will need to wait some time more. reality is clearly taking much longer than anyone imagined, to enter the charmed circle that exists in a bubble of its own, it seems.

It remains to be seen as to what it will take for the US Administration, especially the Federal government under President Trump to finally acknowledge the clear and present danger that climate change poses to the earth, with the US already marked out as one of the frontline states to feel the financial impact.

38.4% of the continental U.S. is in a drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor
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