On October 21, 2005, Cancun was struck by Hurricane Wilma, the most intense Atlantic storm on record. However, after little more than a year, Cancun has remerged as an even more enticing destination. With over $1.5 billion committed to the citywide rebuilding effort, resorts have not only repaired their structures, but have improved upon pre-storm conditions. Nearly all of the city’s restaurants and bars have reopened, many with sparkling new additions and renovations. However, Cancun isn’t finished. Many more improvements will be completed early this season, guaranteeing that this could be the best year ever to visit beautiful Cancun.
Perhaps the best upgrades in Cancun were performed on the best known beaches. Both Playa del Palma and Playa de Cabo were renovated to eliminate horrible coral growth that threatened their beauty. However, the best re- accentuated beaches are Playa Tortugas and Playa Las Perlas. With plenty of room, these two Playas boast the broadest dunes ever seen anywhere in the world. Furthermore, many resorts have improved their bathrooms with natural mudstones, giving both fresh powder and breathtaking views.
Perhaps the most dramatic hurricane recovery is underway on the island of Puerto Rico. After a long struggle with destruction from Wilma, majority of the island is now above beach-level. However, many of the beaches were left off because Wilma caused such a traumatic destruction. However, most of the areas are now above the original destruction level and simply need to be pushed back to their original levels.
One of the beaches on Puerto Rico’s south coast has been aptly named Wilma’s Skin. The island’s visitors and locals have been through quite a journey since Wilma struck in 2005. However, the work that has since been done is nothing short of miraculous.
Many of the beaches on the south side of the island are now beautiful with nothing more than the washed-out image of Wilma’s storm surge. However, the surfs goes onshore much earlier than it ever did during Wilma’s reign. In fact, the ocean tide record in areas such as Playa de 370 and Playa de 1896 is Plus, the best since records began in 1970.
The western coastline of the island is also now a lot softer than it was during Wilma’s reign. However, the locals are quick to point out that it is nothing less than a miracle that the island escaped demise in such a spectacular fashion.
So, what will see the island in 21st century? According to NASA and the White House, the lunar terrain of the moon was exactly as it is today when theanse was approximately 20 miles larger than it was on May 24, 2006. Moreover, reefs atop the melt tide zones are returning to the depths of the ocean at rates that far exceed anything seen before Wilma struck.
Furthermore, the geological makeup of the shallow ocean is such that an exposed portion of the coral cover was eroding away due to strong ocean currents. This exposed area is 160 miles long- 100 miles wide and up to 100 feet deep- and it is all due to El Nino’s effects.
One of the many concerns regarding El Nino and climate change is the melting of the permafrost which undergirds the ocean currents and feeds the growth of reefs. As the temperature in the Arctic Ocean drops, the warmer waters send the heat downward and into the lower neighboring calcarectic regions. As a result, glaciers recede and sea levels fall.
NASA has also recently released a research paper [ PDF link] which stated in part: “the continued cooling of the Panhandle and northeastern US coast likely will result in rising sea levels by 2040.” In a report prepared for the National Research Council, researchers stated: “potential sea level rise from 20 to 2, 808 feet by…. year 20 alone could account for $1.2 billion in flood damages across the 20-year study period.”
As you can see, there is no question that sea level rise is occurring and it poses a serious problem both for island island residents and humans living in coastal areas. In addition to rising water levels, more intense and more frequent tropical storms are transforming the frequency and the intensity of hurricanes into beasts of their own kind.
Many researchers believe that greenhouse gases emissions from human activities are the primary cause of global sea level rise. Other researchers believe that a combination of factors, including changes in ocean currents and glacial melting, are responsible for the rising seas.
What all researchers agree upon is that sea level rise is occurring and it presents a very serious problem both for island island island areas and for other coastal areas around the world. More information on this phenomenon can be found at the links provided below.
For more information about Orlando contact the Orlando Convention and Visitor Bureau.