NewsHawaii: dream beach Waikiki threatens to disappear

Hawaii: dream beach Waikiki threatens to disappear

The world-famous sandy beach of Waikiki in Hawaii is threatened with flooding. Sea level rise as a result of climate change is already making itself felt.

Honolulu – Climate change is becoming more and more noticeable – not only through extreme weather like here in Germany, but also in popular holiday regions. According to researchers, beaches on the Hawaii archipelago in the USA * have been disappearing for years – albeit slowly. The reason: sea levels are rising, water is bursting its banks and flooding beaches.

According to studies, global warming could cause sea levels around Hawaii to rise by one meter by 2050. A beach in Hawaii that is popular with tourists and surfers is particularly affected.

Der Hafen beim Ala Wai Canal liegt in Honolulu, an der Grenze zum Stadtteil Waikiki. (Archivbild)


The port at the Ala Wai Canal is located in Honolulu, on the border with the borough of Waikiki.

Climate change in Hawaii: Popular Waikiki beach could soon disappear

Waikiki means “spouting waters” in Hawaiian. The beach is located on the south side of the Hawaiian capital Honolulu and is considered one of the most famous and popular beaches in the world. Also many hotels and resorts line the coast along the sandy beach.

Coastal regions such as the US state of Hawaii are extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels. Although attempts are already being made to protect Waikiki Beach from the water with dams, sand and groynes and to save hotels worth millions, the project will cost around 50 million dollars. The state bears most of the costs. However, this only buys you time, says Dolan Eversole, a geologist at the University of Hawaii. The beach probably won’t be there forever.

Dream beach Waikiki on Hawaii: USA back in the Paris climate agreement

According to an IPCC report, sea levels will rise by two to three meters and possibly more in hundreds or thousands of years – even if the 1.5 degree limit is met. Flooding could occur every year by 2100. In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a new IPCC report* with various emission scenarios.

US President Joe Biden* returned to the Paris climate agreement after taking office. The Democrat*’s predecessor, Republican* Donald Trump*, had withdrawn from the international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases and downplayed climate change.

USA, Hawaii, Honolulu, 2018: Mitarbeiter des Sheraton Waikiki Hotels füllen Sandsäcke am Strand. Inseln des US-Staats Hawaii bereiten sich auf den herannahenden Hurrikan „Lane“ vor. (Archivbild)


USA, Hawaii, Honolulu, 2018: Sheraton Waikiki Hotel employees fill sandbags on the beach. Hawaii state islands prepare for approaching Hurricane Lane. (archive image)

USA: Coastal regions of Hawaii also at risk from groundwater

According to US researcher Katharina Hill, professor of urban ecology at UC Berkeley, sea level rise could be twice as bad because groundwater is not yet accounted for. Flooding could also occur as a result of the rise in groundwater. This is reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. As a result of these floods, more climate refugees are also expected in the future.

Researchers recently warned that a huge glacier in Antarctica could “shatter like a car windshield”.* (df) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

List of rubrics: © Tor Johnson/dpa

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