planet808

For many people, UN reports and scientific papers do not really convey what climate change will be like. Part of the problem is that scientists are warning about effects we never imagined on the economy, migration, health, and human relations. In this edition of HPR’s Planet808, we look at one journalist's estimation of how the Earth's worst and best case scenarios have changed. 

Noe Tanigawa

Over the last decade, people across the globe began to grapple with the effects of global warming.  Here in Hawai‘i, effects have ranged from wildfires to flooding and coral bleaching, with more frequent and intensified weather events.  In this edition of Planet808, climate change across the islands, HPR takes a look at the road ahead.

Brian Vallelunga/cc commons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hawai‘i’s green energy goals are among the most ambitious in the nation, and other states are closely watching our progress. Hawai‘i’s stated goal is 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, an ambitious target that requires tackling the problem of airline fuel. Nearly a third of the petroleum consumed in Hawai‘i is for jet fuel. In this edition of Planet808, HPR visits this past week’s Hawai‘i Aviation and Climate Action Summit.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

In 2017, Hawai‘i set high tide records for four straight months. It turned out to be because of a combination of factors including sea level rise, and an El Nino effect. Today, HPR’s Planet808 takes a look at the high tides we’ll be experiencing this week.

Wikimedia Commons

Some very high tides are expected later this month, Nov. 25 to Nov. 28. Hawai‘i’s last "king tide" event happened at the end of July. Combined with a freak south swell, ocean levels rose over three feet and reached their highest point of the year so far. One water expert explains how Honolulu will cope with rising sea levels.

Chip Fletcher
Chip Fletcher

A hardy band of UH faculty and state and county officials is just back from a learning trip to U.S. East Coast cities that are wrestling with climate change. This week’s Future Focus conference brought academic, business, and government leaders together to collaborate on climate adaptation.

GoFarms Hawaii
GoFarms Hawaii

After a month of sweltering temperatures, August closed with a record 95 degrees in Honolulu on Saturday. As local residents make more and more adjustments for the heat, the United Nations Climate Commission has concluded that simple changes in land use would help resolve global warming. In this edition of Planet808, climate expert Chip Fletcher says, Hawai‘i could lead on this. The new UN findings dovetail with initiatives already taking root in Hawai‘i.

National Park Service

Each year, an estimated 500 to 600 wildfires sweep across parts of Oahu. But those fires are different than the ones that burn on the mainland, and in many ways, the charred fields are just the beginning of the problem. 

Maui Fire Department
Maui Fire Department

Last year, a spark from a hammer was enough to ignite dry grass, and contributed to the largest wildfire in California history. All across the Western U.S., firefighters are wondering what might lie ahead this season. Here in the Islands, thousands evacuated earlier this month as a wildfire tore through central Maui, an example of Hawai‘i’s increasing risk for wildfires.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Europe’s record-shattering heatwave last week contributed to the hottest June ever recorded on earth.  It’s been hot in Hawaiʻi lately as well, although it hasn’t threatened public health. In 2003, a European heatwave killed 70-thousand people. Authorities and residents have learned lessons since then---but in Hawai‘i, how prepared are we for dangerous heat?  University of Hawaiʻi climate expert Chip Fletcher has some answers.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Today, on the summer solstice, HPR starts a closer look at how climate change is playing out in Hawai‘i.  We’re calling these reports “Planet808: Climate change in the islands.” And we begin with UH Professor, Chip Fletcher, author of Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us.