Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Shock aerial pictures show Hawaii island WASHED AWAY by hurricane Walaka

Shock aerial pictures show Hawaii island WASHED AWAY by hurricane Walaka

Before-and-after pictures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) show how the island was submerged by the raging seas after the powerful hurricane swept through.

East Island was just over four hectares but was important ecologically.

A remote part of the chain of Hawaiian Islands has been erased from the map after being washed away by a powerful hurricane earlier this month. (Supplied) The aerial photo of the Hawaii East Island shows how it became nearly completely submerged after the hurricane. The U.S. government organization confirmed island appeared to be under water following the hurricane in a statement released on Tuesday.

University of Hawaii scientist Chip Fletcher knew East Island was going to be gone one day.

A remote northwestern Hawaiian island has almost vanished after Hurricane Walaka barreled through the Pacific last month, eliminating - at least for now - a critical habitat for endangered species. Traditionally, the reason for the "jitter" of the earth's axis was considered as the movement of glaciers, but by combining mathematical models of other global processes, which are theoretically able to reject the axis, the researchers found that the reason is not one - three: convection of the mantle matter, the planets, the movement of glaciers and the melting of the global cryosphere caused by climate change. In particular, noted climatologist negative effect on the population of monk seals and green sea turtles.

East Island was only a half-mile long and 400 feet wide, but it was the second-largest island in the French Frigate Shoals.

Гавайський острів зник з лиця землі після урагану
Hurricane swallows Hawaii island whole

East Island was a low-lying island composed mainly of loose sand and gravel and was home to threatened nesting green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

In the right conditions, an atoll like French Frigate Shoals is always at risk when a hurricane hits.

Scientists say the storm's massive surge, as well as rising sea levels resulting from climate change, factored into the island's disappearance.

Thankfully the turtles had already left the area for the season, so weren't hit by the storm, but may face trouble when they return.

"The take-home message is climate change is real and it's happening now", NOAA deputy superintendent of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Randy Kosaki told Honolulu Civil Beat.

Charles Littnan, a conservation biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told Honolulu Civil Beat that "species are resilient to a point", and while they may find new breeding ground, "there could be a point in the future where that resilience isn't enough".

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