"they weren't even sure they were there," he said.
The reef he was used to was the most beautiful in all of Hawaii, he told CNN. "It was an amazing coral garden with thousands of multicolored fish."
But now it was gone. "It looked like a parking lot," Kosaki said. "Almost even debris left."
Climate change causes more frequent hurricanes
Kosaki serves as deputy superintendent of the National Oceanic and National Monument and Ocean Monument . .
Most islands in the archipelago stretching west of the main Hawaiian islands are uninhabited, so this is the first time that researchers have the opportunity to look carefully deep below the surface. [1
Based on evidence from previous reefs cut by extreme weather or coral bleaching,
Corals are resilient, but things are getting more difficult because of "the pressures of climate change," he said.
Heavy hurricanes such as Walaka come more often now. Since reefs may take several decades to get back after a major meteorological event, reefs such as Rapture may be affected by another storm or coral bleaching before they have a chance to fully rebound from the last trauma. , the reef had "mound structures" 15 feet high, Kosaki said. That was before the huge pressure of Hurricane Valaka equalized them. "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03-rapture-reef-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn.com /cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03-rapture-reef-medium-plus-169.jpg "data-src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03- rapture-reef-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03-rapture-reef-exlarge-169.jpg "data-src-large = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03-rapture-reef-super-169.jpg" data-src-full16x9 = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets /190828193842-03-rapture-reef-full-169.jpg "data-src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190828193842-03-rapture-reef-small-11.jpg " data-demand-load = "not-loaded" data-eq-pts = "mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781" src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>