A new report from the University of Hawaii is warning the state’s tourism industry to begin preparing to feel the effects of climate change. The report warns that Hawaii will most likely begin seeing a lot more competition from easier-to-access tropical resorts along the coastal regions from Texas to Arizona.
Thanks to climate change, Hawaii is expected to become hotter and drier. That means less cooling trade winds, roaring waterfalls, and gorgeous forest streams, and more droughts. There will also be fewer beaches as the sea levels rise and the coast begins to erode away.
The report was paid for by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which is looking for strategies to adapt to the inevitable changes. One of the biggest challenges that the state’s tourism industry will face is the rising sea levels. The vast majority of Hawaii’s hotels and resorts are located near the shore, and will soon have to deal with increased flooding and storm surges.
Dolan Eversole, a coastal hazards extension agent for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program and one of the authors of the report, has said that the earth’s climate is already being changed by rising greenhouse gases from across the globe, however, we won’t experience the major effects for another few decades or so.
Some of Hawaii’s beaches will erode by fifty feet or more by 2050, and some beaches will disappear entirely. More and more, Hawaii is being faced with the choice of a costly retreat from the coast to maintain its healthy sand beaches, or armoring its shorelines in order to protect its hotels while running the risk of losing even more of its shorelines.
Read more about the story at The Huffington Post.