Hawaii

Flag

Population

1,430,000 inhabitants

Land area

28,311 km2

Language

English, Hawaiian

Location


Source

Hawaii was the last state to join the United States of America. It is a set of volcanic islands in the pacific ocean, about 3,900km from the continental US.

A global phenomenon, very local consequences

Most Hawaiian cities are built on the coast. It makes their inhabitants extremely vulnerable to several threats, the most obvious being sea level rise. Honolulu for instance is built on former swamps, so the water level rise will not only come from the ocean, but also from the inland groundwater.

Also, sea surface temperature is one of the factors that make cyclone formation easier. As a result, tropical cyclones are becoming more violent and more frequent.
Despite their preparation, Hawaiians risk human losses, and always have to face the cost of repairs.

A paradise under threat

Hawaii gets most of its revenue though tourism. Yet sea level rise brings increased coastal erosion. If there is no sand left on the beach, how will tourists react? The government can always add sand to Waikiki, but it would be extremely expensive to sustain the entire coastline.

But there is something else that will worry tourists. Due to the increase in temperature, the biodiversity is changing, and tropical diseases are spreading. In 2015, there has been a dengue fever outbreak in the Big Island of Hawaii.