Research: Hawaii headed for warmer future

Published On: Oct 10 2013 02:04:00 PM HST

Hawaii's record breaking heatwaves could become the norm and the effects could be devastating that could lead to extinction of Hawaii's coral reef and other marine life.

HONOLULU -

Think back to what it felt like on the hottest day you can remember in Hawaii.  Now, think about living in that climate every single day.

That's what we're headed for, according to researchers.

Click here to see the video report.

"Once these numbers start sinking in your brain, you realize -- wow -- this is something seriously bad that is going to happen," said Dr. Camilo Mora.

Mora is a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Back in January, Mora, along with his associate and 12 of his students stumbled upon a void in the study of climate change.

While most scientists were gathering data on how earth's climate would be affected, the team asked when we'll really feel it.

One-hundred-and-fifty years of data stored at more than 54,000 locations across the globe have been loaded on these hard drives in Dr. Mora's office and uploaded to the team's website, which is open to the public.

"When we talk about climate change, people think this is something that is happening in some other place," said Mora.  "Now, you can go to a website, click exactly where you live and see when climate change is going to come to a place close to you."

Photos: What will cities look like if sea level rises?

Click here to see renderings of what cities would look like if the sea level rises.

When you click on Hawaii, you'll see the trend getting hotter.  Imagine 89 degree, or Hawaii's high last year, being the norm.  Experts say the effects could be devastating, especially to living coral that could be extinct.

"So, the populations of fish can decline and you know that people rely on fish so people will not have access to that resource anymore," said Mora.

So, what can we do to stop this?  Experts say the answer is currently being worked on and could be ready early next year.

"Once we've recognized this, the problem in not going to be fixed the next day," said Mora.  "It's probably going to take year to get back to normal levels."

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