Hawaii east island

While Trump thinks Climate Change might change back, one Hawaii island is no longer on the map

US President Donald Trump backed off his claim that climate change is no hoax but it will change back again in an interview with CBS on October 14.

He said, “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

While he thinks that way, in less than two weeks following the interview, Hawaii’s East Island wiped off the map following powerful storm surges from Hurricane Walaka earlier this month. We hope Mr. Trump is right, and Hawaii will get its island back.

East Island, part of French Frigate Shoals in the Papahanaumokuakea marine conservation area, was a crucial habitat for Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles. Now, it’s almost entirely gone, officials confirmed using satellite imagery.

Of the 96 percent of Hawaiian green sea turtles that nest in the French Frigate Shoals, more than half nest on East Island. About 15 percent of the world’s Hawaiian monk seals were also born there, said NOAA conservation biologist Charles Littnan.

Both Hawaiian green sea turtles and monk seals are endangered species.

Chip Fletcher, an earth science professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa said, “Sea level is rising around the world, these low sandy islands become more and more vulnerable as the ocean rises,” he said. “If the ocean was rising very slowly, there’s the potential that these islands could adapt, but rapid sea level rise, as is happening due to global warming, puts these islands out of equilibrium.”

Sources: Time, Weather.com

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