About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory recorded an increase in carbon dioxide for 2015 and 2016
that reached an unprecedented level in the 59 years of recording at the observatory.
Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson/NOAA
THE ROLLBACK OF CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS on Tuesday drew strong response to the Executive Orders of President Donald Trump from Hawai`i Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz:
     Said Hirono: “This executive order is clear proof that this Administration is not committed to an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. The President continues to promote alternative facts over empirical scientific evidence of climate change and unravel the clean and renewable energy progress that we have made over the past eight years.
     “While the President can afford to live in this alternate universe, Hawai`i and other island communities are forced to grapple with the reality of climate change. Our coral reefs are dying because of historically high ocean temperatures. By 2100, Hawai`i’s sea levels will rise by more than three feet. We owe it to our keiki to listen to our climate scientists, and build upon, not erase, the progress we’ve made.”
Climate change monitoring day and night at Mauna Loa Observatory revealed that carbon dioxide levels rose at a record
pace for second straight year in 2016. Photo by Forrest Mims III
     Schatz tweeted: “Good news is that the clean energy revolution cannot be stopped. Bad news is this administration just doesn't get it.” He also pointed to the quick response from two governors on the mainland whose combined states make up the sixth largest economy on the planet. In a joint statement, Gov. Jerry Brown of California and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York wrote:
     “Dismantling the Clean Power plan and other critical climate programs is profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science. With this move, the Administration will endanger public health, our environment and our economic prosperity.
     “Climate change is real and will not be wished away be rhetoric or denial. We stand together with a majority of the American people in supporting bold actions to protect our communities from the dire consequences of climate change.
     “Together, California and New York represent approximately 60 million people, nearly one in five Americans – and 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. With or without Washington, we will work with our partners throughout the world to aggressively fight climate change and protect our future.”
    To sign the Executive Order, Trump took coal miners with him to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and claimed he could bring back jobs by allowing new coal mining on federal lands and dashing coal mining restrictions against polluting streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. He announced to coal miners, "You're going back to work."
Mauna Loa Observatory is a premier atmospheric research facility, continuously monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric change since the 1950's. Undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity are ideal for monitoring constituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change. The observatory is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) - Global Monitoring Division (GMD).
    The Executive Order led to further debate on the decline of coal mining, with economists saying that mechanization in remaining coal mines is reducing the number of jobs. There is also a decline in the use of coal in favor of less expensive gas, oil, solar, wind and hydroelectric, making coal an energy source of the past.
     The Executive Order also eliminated a number of Barack Obama's Executive Orders dealing with climate change, including requiring federal agencies to consider climate change impact when analyzing environmental permits, and including a requirement to address "social cost of carbon," when making decisions on pollution. Trump's orders could make it nearly impossible for the U.S. to live up to the Paris climate accord, which the U.S. signed along with 193 other countries to reduce emissions in order to address climate change. Those countries range from Afghanistan to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Cook Islands and Egypt to the countries of the European Union, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, both Koreas, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, and United Kingdom. See the complete list at Paris Agreement.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS ROSE ON MAUNA LOA TO A RECORD LEVEL IN 2016. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Baseline Atmospheric Observatory measured an increase of 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm), an increase that matched the record observed in 2015. NOAA released the findings earlier this month from Mauna Loa, which is considered one of the premier observatories in the world with some of the best conditions for gathering scientific data.
        According to the NOAA statement, "The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, reported Dr. Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network."
     Tans has reported over the years that there is now more carbon in the atmosphere than there was two million years ago. When announcing the new record, Tans stated, “The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age. This is a real shock to the atmosphere.” Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm.
     NOAA has measured CO2 on site at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1974. To ensure accuracy, air samples from the mountaintop research site in Hawai`i are shipped to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, for verification. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which first began sampling CO2 at Mauna Loa in 1956, also takes independent measurements onsite.
Mauna Loa monitoring has been recording the elements of the atmosphere for 59 years.
Photo by Forrest Mims III
   Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate, Tans said. This high growth rate of CO2 is also being observed at some 40 other sites in NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network
     NOAA explained the greenhouse effect with the following statement: "Carbon dioxide is one of several gases that are primarily responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere. This “greenhouse effect” maintains temperatures suitable for life on Earth. Increasing CO2 levels trap additional heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, contributing to rising global average temperatures.
     "Atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm between about 10,000 years ago and the start of the Industrial Revolution around 1760."
     Interested persons are able to track CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa and other global locations online.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

KA`U UNITY CELEBRATION aims to bring together young talented members of the Ka`u community to perform on Saturday, April 29  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at t Ka`u District Gym. youth in grades K-12 are invited to showcase their talents by signing up at the Ka`u District Gym. The event is organized by a consortium of local community groups BISAC, County of Hawai`i Dept. of Parks & Recreation - Pahala, Hi-Pal and Pahala Boys & Girls Club, along with Chloe Gan, Monique Hughes, Daryl Moreira, Dexsilyn Navarro, Brennen Nishimura, and Kevin Sun. Partnering to put on the event are O Ka`u Kakou, Catholic Charities of Hawai`i and Imua Ka`u.     Educational booths, entertainment, food and prizes are on the agenda. Youth who want to sign up to participate with their talent and displays can call 928-3102.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

MURDER ON THE NILE - Performances Kilauea Theatre are through April 2 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets prices are $15 general, $12 seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea'au Natural Foods, the Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. For reservations and more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.