KITV News 4
June 01, 2012
By Brenton Awa
HONOLULU - The Paris Climate Agreement is meant to limit rising temperatures on earth, even with the United States out, Hawaii is still in - to an extent.
A state lawmaker and his colleagues saw this coming so they took provisions from the Paris Agreement prior to President Trump's action and made them law in Hawaii.
"We have imminent sea level rise. Within the next 20 years, we are going to see areas that are currently dry underwater," Sen. Kalani English said.
English said Hawaii will remain part of international efforts.
State lawmakers created a Climate Change Commission to monitor the impacts in Hawaii.
English and others explained the changes we're seeing in the islands.
"We used to have one mango season a year, now we have four. That same tree is rooting four times a year, the same with lychee, coming all different times, different fruits fruiting at different times," English said.
"It's a crime against the people of the world and the citizens of the United States to pull out of the Paris Accord," Dr. Chip Fletcher with the University of Hawaii SOEST said.
Fletcher reminded us of what happened two years ago.
"Flooding from rainfall, unusually high sea levels, unusually warm air temperature, 15 tropical cyclones which was a record season for hurricanes at one point we were surrounded by three hurricanes, that had never happened before," he said.
That could happen in the future.
Fletcher also brought up the time temperatures got so hot, the Hawaiian Electric Company asked their customers to turn off their air conditioners to avoid a blackout.
"When you get a blackout during a heat wave, that's when you start getting medical problems and even fatalities," he said.
The state is already dealing with erosion on our shores.
Warmer than normal ocean conditions are leading to coral bleaching which can eventually affect the fish we eat.
Scientists are saying the sea level is currently rising three times faster than the 29th century average.
They also say in a few decades - King tides - like the ones we went through will be the normal monthly high tide and when that happens - future king tides could cause major flooding to Hawaii's low lying areas.