May 10, 2019

Climate change's impact on surfing

A surfer at the 2018 Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o surf competition. Photo: Kelly Cestari/WSL via Getty Images

Climate change is warming the ocean and, in turn, transforming wave conditions. Surfers are on the front lines of these changes, and they're "pretty conflicted about what lies ahead," writes the Washington Post.

The bad news: Oceanographers warn that dying reefs will change how waves break, and that "rising sea levels could mean other swells roll right over reliable breaking points without ever 'tripping,' leaving the swells flat and surfers without waves."

The silver lining, if there is one: Warming oceans have created a "golden age" of big-wave surfing with bigger, more powerful waves. Axios' Andrew Freedman highlights a study published last month in the journal Science which found that globally, the oceans are becoming windier and more turbulent, although this is not occurring equally in each ocean basin. The greatest signal shown in the study, which used 33 years of observations from multiple satellites, buoys and other sources, is in the remote Southern Ocean.

The bottom line, according to big-wave surfing pioneer Laird Hamilton:

The ocean feels a little sick right now. We know it'll create bigger surf than we've ever had, but it could also create longer periods of no surf [and] make waves come from weird directions that don't hit reefs the same way. Overall, I don't think it’s great — not great for mankind and not great for surfers either.

Go deeper: Worried about climate change, college students question lifestyles

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.

Trumpworld's plan to brand Biden

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP

Trump's advisers relish the contrast between his public appearances and Joe Biden's lack thereof. The former vice president, following the guidance of public experts, has eschewed public events and stayed home for months now. Trump, meanwhile, is out and about — masks be damned.

What we're hearing: Watch for plenty more mask-free outings from Trump, hyping the reopening of the economy and avoiding discussions of social distancing and death counts.