Saturday, May 27, 2017

Waikiki Could Get Highest Tides In More Than 100 Years This Weekend

he combination of high lunar tides, a south swell and ongoing sea level rise is giving Hawaii a preview of what’s to come with climate change.

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He was working with the volunteers in front of the Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki on Thursday afternoon.

Predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have tides rising around 2.4 feet higher than average through the weekend. The average itself has been increasing slowly due to sea level rise tied to climate change, and Gonser said the result over the next couple of days could actually exceed the predictions.
May’s king tides mark the third documentation session for the volunteer group. While their photos are important to visualize and track data, the community conversations that follow will be perhaps the most significant result, Gonser said.
“We hope to engage in this conversation — that is actually really difficult to have — about how rising sea levels impact our locale,” he said. “You can’t ignore it.”

Factors are converging to create the epic tides, said Philip Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. They include a recent increase in slow-moving, rotating and churning bodies of water, called ocean eddies, and the lasting effects of the 2015-2016 El Nino.
Meanwhile, climate change is producing rising sea levels with no end in sight.
This poses an issue for the coastal areas in Hawaii, in particular, because washed-out beaches hurt tourism and the environment.

“Maintaining our beaches and nourishing them will be an ongoing struggle,” Thompson said.
The Citizen Scientists also plan to document the next expected king tides June 23-24 and July 21 and 22.

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