Pearl and Hermes Atoll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pearl and Hermes is located in Pacific Ocean
Pearl and Hermes
Pearl and Hermes
Location of Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
Map showing the location of Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Hawaiian island chain
NASA picture of the Pearl and Hermes Atoll

The Pearl and Hermes Atoll (Hawaiian: Holoikauaua), is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Named after two English whaleships, the Pearl and the Hermes, that wrecked there in 1822.

History[edit]

In 1927, Captain William Greig Anderson was fishing for tuna and in the process, discovered pearl beds within the lagoon. This opened up the first commercial activity within the atoll, but the pearl trade lasted for only a few years. The Hawaiian government later prohibited commercial activity and declared the area to be a bird sanctuary. In June 2006, George W. Bush declared the atoll and all other parts of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Geography[edit]

As the 3rd northernmost atoll, behind Midway and Kure, approximately 2,090 km (1,299 mi) northwest of Honolulu and 140 km (87 mi) east-southeast of Midway Atoll. The Pearl and Hermes Atoll is a large, low atoll with several small islets devoid of life, apart for some grass species, forming about 80 acres (32 ha) of land and almost 200,000 acres (80,937 ha) of coral reef habitat. The fringing reef is roughly 69 km (43 mi) in circumference and open to the west. The Pearl and Hermes atoll features adheres to the timezone of UTC-10:00.

Climate[edit]

Data chart below has been taken from Midway Atoll due to a lack of any weather stations present on Pearl and Hermes Atoll.

Despite being located at 27°48'N which is above the Tropic of Cancer, Pearl and Hermes Atoll features a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) with very pleasant year-round temperatures. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with only two months being able to be classified as dry season months (May and June).

Climate data for Pearl and Hermes Atoll
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
81
(27)
81
(27)
82
(28)
87
(31)
89
(32)
92
(33)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
88
(31)
82
(28)
92
(33)
Average high °F (°C) 70
(21)
70
(21)
71
(22)
72
(22)
76
(24)
81
(27)
83
(28)
84
(29)
84
(29)
80
(27)
76
(24)
73
(23)
76.7
(24.8)
Daily mean °F (°C) 66
(19)
66
(19)
67
(19)
69
(21)
72
(22)
77
(25)
79
(26)
80
(27)
80
(27)
77
(25)
73
(23)
69
(21)
72.9
(22.8)
Average low °F (°C) 62
(17)
62
(17)
63
(17)
64
(18)
68
(20)
73
(23)
75
(24)
75
(24)
75
(24)
72
(22)
69
(21)
65
(18)
68.6
(20.4)
Record low °F (°C) 49
(9)
50
(10)
51
(11)
53
(12)
55
(13)
61
(16)
63
(17)
64
(18)
64
(18)
59
(15)
55
(13)
51
(11)
49
(9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.0
(127)
3.8
(97)
3.0
(76)
2.5
(64)
2.3
(58)
2.2
(56)
3.3
(84)
4.3
(109)
3.5
(89)
3.5
(89)
3.8
(97)
4.1
(104)
41.3
(1,050)
Average precipitation days 16 14 12 11 9 9 15 15 15 14 14 16 160
Source: Weatherbase[1]

Environment[edit]

The endangered Laysan finch was introduced to the island to provide a backup population of these birds, should a hurricane, disease, rat introduction, or other disaster wipe out the population on the island of Laysan. Furthermore, the Pearl and Hermes support a breeding population of endangered monk seals. Derelict fishing gear and other types of marine debris are, however, having a major impact on the reefs and associated fauna of the atoll. Over the past three years, efforts have been undertaken to lessen the threat of this growing problem.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 27°48′N 175°51′W / 27.800°N 175.850°W / 27.800; -175.850