Hawaii’s gentle breezes are disappearing, and scientists don’t know why

June 6, 2013 HONOLULUPart of what makes living in Hawaii so pleasant is the gentle breeze. Arriving from the northeast, it’s light enough that it is barely noticeable but strong enough to chase away the humidity. It’s a natural draw to the outdoors. It is not uncommon to show up at a house to find its residents relaxing out in the covered porch or in the car port, not their living room, and enjoying the cooling winds — and a cool drink. Nowadays, experts say, these breezes, called trade winds, are declining, a drop that’s slowly changing life across the islands. The effects can be seen from the relatively minor, such as residents unaccustomed to the humidity complaining about the weather and having to use their fans and air conditioning more often, to the more consequential, including winds being too weak to blow away volcanic smog. The winds also help bring the rains, and their decline means less water. It’s one reason officials are moving to restore the health of the mountainous forests that hold the state’s water supply and encourage water conservation. Scholars are studying ways for farmers to plant crops differently. It’s not clear what’s behind the shift in the winds. “People always try to ask me: ‘Is this caused by global warming?’ But I have no idea,” said University of Hawaii at Manoa meteorologist Pao-shin Chu, who began to wonder a few years ago about the winds becoming less steady and more intermittent. Chu suggested a graduate student look into it. The resulting study, published last fall in the Journal of Geophysical Research, showed a decades-long decline, including a 28 per cent drop in northeast trade wind days at Honolulu’s airport since the early 1970s. The scientists used wind data from four airports and four ocean buoys as well as statistical data analysis for their study. Now, they are working to project future trade winds using the most recent data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body of the United Nations. Luke Evslin is already noticing the dip. The 28-year-old has paddled outrigger canoes — boats long used around the Pacific for fishing, travel and racing — for most of his life. In Hawaii, this means he rides waves generated by trade winds. These days, though, there are fewer waves to surf because the winds are arriving less often. “You show up and the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. So instead of a 3-hour-45-minute race, it turns into a 5 1/2-hour race,” Evslin said. “So instead of testing your surfing ability, it’s testing your endurance. It’s a different type of paddling.” He’s thinking he’ll now have to start training for races in canals and rivers to better prepare for flat water conditions. Sometimes the winds are too weak to blow away the volcanic smog, or vog, created by sulfur dioxide erupting from Kilauea volcano on the Big Island, leaving a white or brownish haze hanging over Honolulu. This aggravates asthma and other respiratory problems. For now, Chu said the most important consequence will be declining rainfall and a drop in the water supply, particularly as Hawaii’s population grows and uses more water. Trade winds deliver rain to Hawaii when clouds carried from the northeast hit mountainous islands built by millions of years of volcanic eruptions. These rains, together with rainfall from winter storms, are the state’s primary sources of water. On Oahu, the rain feeds ground aquifers that supply water to about 950,000 people in Honolulu and surrounding towns. Barry Usagawa, the water resources program administrator for Honolulu’s water utility, said residents are reporting streams near their homes are flowing lower than before. “What we don’t know is if this is truly a downward trend or just the lower leg of a long-term cycle. Is it going to go back up?” he said. The utility has contracted Chu to develop rainfall forecasts to plan for the decades ahead. –CTV News
contribution Irene
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Dark Ages, Drought, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Erratic Jet Stream, Extreme Weather Event, Magnetic pole migration, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Hawaii’s gentle breezes are disappearing, and scientists don’t know why

  1. bobby90247 says:

    “Since the early 70’s?”


    ALL these :conclusions on a “study” that went back, how far??? Forty “plus” years? Give me a break!


  2. There is here a problem of “civilization unravelling, and of drought”….. the winds which blow the “volcanic smog created by the sulphur dioxide” created by the eruption of the “volcano” here , the volcano of Hawaii, and generally speaking about all the lava and gases caused by the various volcanoe’s eruptions al over the world,can cause a kind of “respiratory” problems, …. These added to the “drought” of the water’s supply, in Honolulu, ( and I know too, that there was such a health problem in China), can be the cause of the “Asthma”, a respiratory Syndrome lke he SARS, which can be prevented or cured , according to my knowledge, by “supplying water” to the patients….
    Another problem caused by the “climate change of the weather”, which is not related “directly to WHO”, is the “global warming” of the Earth…and the “deviation” of the winds into such a direction that it cannot but stop the water’s supply… that leads to “drought” and from “drought” to a “respiratory problem syndrome”…..”Water” is in its essence, a basic need to the “Nature” in general, which means, nature outside us, plantations , forests, etc… and mainly, for the nature of Human Kind….who have to be “near” it ….


  3. The main problem of “drought” is caused by the “global warming” of the Earth….The causes may be the “gelogical changes” of the earth due to climate changes, and to what is happening , a new events, upon the whole Earth, and the Whole World, which is the invention of new “technologies” new kinds of weapons, upon the ground, and under the sea, and in the air…..


  4. krista says:

    Declining rainfall and wind is happening globally and it isn’t from global warming. It is from man made climate change/weather modificatiin or Geo Engineering. Call me a conspiracy theorist all you want, but it is fact. Millions of people witness this on a daily basis and always occurs before a storm front is due to arrive. Watch the skies before a storm and witness this “phenomenon” of “Persistent Contrails” that fill the sky with haze and then when the storm clouds arrive they are like blobs of color in the sky or they dissolve as soon as they come into contact with the white haze or blanket covering the sky. It only takes a short time to see it for what it truly is. Weather modification. The new weapon of mass destruction thats wreaking havoc on the planet and its inhabitants.


  5. Terri says:

    Could it be due to radiation from Japan’s nuclear meltdowns?

    Here’s a NOAA map showing where the radiation went. It looks like it blanketed Hawaii.


    And according to the latest reports, Japan is still releasing radiation:



  6. helen and co says:

    Just curious; but could the fact that the magnetic north pole is moving over into Russia, be pulling the trade winds and other atmospheric features northward?
    Over the past century the pole has moved 685 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Arctic Canada toward Siberia, says Joe Stoner, a paleomagnetist at Oregon State University.
    At its current rate the pole could move to Siberia within the next half-century, Stoner said.
    “It’s moving really fast,” he said. “We’re seeing something that hasn’t happened for at least 500 years.”
    Stoner presented his team’s research at the American Geophysical Union’s meeting last week in San Francisco.
    Lorne McKee, a geomagnetic scientist at Natural Resources Canada, says that Stoner’s data fits his own readings.
    “The movement of the pole definitely appears to be accelerating,” he said.



    • bobby90247 says:

      Hi Helen…!

      Are you aware of the FACT that the “magnetic North Pole” sways “back & forth”, constantly! It will go even further than that 685 miles you quoted. Last year, the Poles, actually “Flipped!!!” NO…don’t bother looking for the evidence, you won’t find it. It’s been “removed” from the Internet! The “ONLY” reason I am aware of this, is that I “happened” to look at the data within a couple of hours of it happening! If it weren’t for that “happenstance!”…I wouldn’t know about it!!!


  7. tonic says:

    Gives a new perspectives on Harold Macmillan famous speech.
    The winds of change.


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