Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Changing climate? What's it mean to me?

Climate change, shlimate change—what does it mean to me?

Two Hawaii projects during the next couple of months will look directly at the local impacts of climate change: The Blue Line Project and a conference on Kaua'i keyed to local impacts.

(Image: The blue represents how far water extends inland at Waikiki with a three-foot rise in sea levels. Credit: Blue Planet Foundation.)

The first, backed by the Honolulu-based Blue Planet Foundation, will encourage students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 24 to use chalk to draw a blue line at the height of the water around Hawai'i if there's a one-meter rise in sea levels.

Schools have only a week to sign up, so if your school is interested, don't waste time. Find details of the project here at

“We chose to illustrate the extent of flooding from a one meter rise in our sea level because that is one clear effect of climate change that could devastate many of our communities within our lifetime,” the project data sheet says.

Its goal, too, is to send a message to the United Nations climate change conference in December in Denmark.

“By having Hawaii's youth take part in the Blue Line Project, our goal is to have Hawaii's message of hope be heard all the way in Copenhagen. Hawai'i will be doing just that as an island community and in its own unique way contribute to making a difference,” said Blue Planet's Francois Rogers, Blue Line Project coordinator.

The second project , a conference from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 21, will specifically look at climate impacts on the island of Kauai. “Global Climate Change as it will affect Kauai” is sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation, Kauai, UH Sea Grant Program and Kauai Community College.

“We will attempt to get an understanding of the cumulative effects of various aspects of climate change on the future of Kauai. Immediately after the presentations we will have a forum and speakers will answer questions from the audience and will be able to address 'What can we do about it.' Another workshop, specifically focused on mitigating climate change effects and actually slowing the rate of change, is planned for next year,” said organizer Carl Berg.

Speakers from across Hawai'i will review rainfall and drought, stream flow and groundwater, sea level rise, reef changes, and other issues. There is no fee, but registration is required. For information reach Berg at 639-2968 or

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009

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