Tristan da Cunha part 02



 Tristan Map  Coat of arms of Tristan da Cunha  Gough island top view

Note: Tristan Map // Coat of arms of Tristan da Cunha // Gough island top view

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21st century

On 23 May 2001, the islands were hit by an extratropical cyclone that generated winds up to 190 kilometres per hour (120 mph). A number of structures were severely damaged, and numerous cattle were killed, prompting emergency aid provided by the British government.

In 2005, the islands were given a United Kingdom post code (TDCU 1ZZ), to make it easier for the residents to order goods online.

On 13 February 2008, fire destroyed the fishing factory and the four generators that supplied power to the island. On 14 March 2008, new generators were installed and uninterrupted power was restored. This fire was devastating to the island because fishing is a mainstay of the economy. While a new factory was being planned and built, M/V Kelso came to the island and acted as a factory ship, with island fishermen based on board for stints normally of one week. The new facility was ready in July 2009, for the start of the 2009–10 fishing season.

The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009 ended the "dependency status" of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

On 16 March 2011, the freighter MS Oliva ran aground on Nightingale Island, spilling tons of heavy fuel oil into the ocean. The resulting oil slick threatened the island's population of rockhopper penguins. Nightingale Island has no fresh water, so the penguins were transported to Tristan da Cunha for cleaning.

Solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse will pass over the island on 5 December 2048. The island is calculated to be on the centre line of the umbra's path for nearly three and a half minutes of totality.

Environment

Geography

Tristan da Cunha is thought to have been formed by a long-lived centre of upwelling mantle called the Tristan hotspot. Tristan da Cunha is the main island of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, which consists of the following islands:

Inaccessible Island and the Nightingale Islands are 35 kilometres (22 mi) SW by W and SSW off the main island respectively, whereas Gough Island is 395 kilometres (245 mi) SSE.

The main island is generally mountainous. The only flat area is on the north-west coast, which is the location of the only settlement, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. The highest point is a volcano called Queen Mary's Peak 2,062 metres (6,765 ft), which is covered by snow in winter. The other islands of the group are uninhabited, except for a weather station with a staff of six on Gough Island. This has been operated by South Africa since 1956 (since 1963 at its present location at Transvaal Bay on the south-east coast).

Climate

The archipelago has a wet oceanic climate under the Köppen system with pleasant temperatures, but consistent moderate to heavy rainfall and very limited sunshine, due to the persistent westerly winds. Under the Trewartha classification Tristan da Cunha is a humid subtropical climate due to the lack of cold temperatures. The number of rainy days is comparable to the Aleutian Islands at a much higher latitude in the northern hemisphere, while sunshine hours are comparable to Juneau, Alaska, 20° farther from the equator. Frost is unknown below elevations of 500 metres (1,600 ft) and summer temperatures are similarly mild, never reaching 25 °C (77 °F). Sandy Point on the east coast is reputed to be the warmest and driest place on the island, being in the lee of the prevailing winds.

Climate data for Tristan da Cunha
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.7
(74.7)
24.4
(75.9)
24.4
(75.9)
22.4
(72.3)
20.3
(68.5)
18.7
(65.7)
17.8
(64)
17.3
(63.1)
17.1
(62.8)
18.4
(65.1)
22.4
(72.3)
21.8
(71.2)
24.4
(75.9)
Average high °C (°F) 20.4
(68.7)
21.2
(70.2)
20.5
(68.9)
18.9
(66)
16.9
(62.4)
15.3
(59.5)
14.4
(57.9)
14.2
(57.6)
14.3
(57.7)
15.4
(59.7)
17.0
(62.6)
18.9
(66)
17.3
(63.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
18.8
(65.8)
17.9
(64.2)
15.4
(59.7)
14.6
(58.3)
13.1
(55.6)
12.2
(54)
11.9
(53.4)
12.0
(53.6)
13.0
(55.4)
14.6
(58.3)
16.5
(61.7)
14.8
(58.6)
Average low °C (°F) 15.4
(59.7)
16.2
(61.2)
15.3
(59.5)
11.9
(53.4)
12.3
(54.1)
10.9
(51.6)
10.0
(50)
9.6
(49.3)
9.7
(49.5)
10.6
(51.1)
12.2
(54)
14.1
(57.4)
12.4
(54.3)
Record low °C (°F) 10.9
(51.6)
11.8
(53.2)
10.3
(50.5)
9.5
(49.1)
7.4
(45.3)
6.3
(43.3)
4.8
(40.6)
4.6
(40.3)
5.1
(41.2)
6.4
(43.5)
8.3
(46.9)
9.7
(49.5)
4.6
(40.3)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 93
(3.66)
113
(4.45)
121
(4.76)
129
(5.08)
155
(6.1)
160
(6.3)
160
(6.3)
175
(6.89)
169
(6.65)
151
(5.94)
128
(5.04)
127
(5)
1,681
(66.17)
Average rainy days 18 17 17 20 23 23 25 26 24 22 18 19 252
Average relative humidity (%) 79 77 75 78 78 79 79 79 78 79 79 80 78.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 139.5 144.0 145.7 129.0 108.5 99.0 105.4 105.4 120.0 133.3 138.0 130.2 1,498
Source #1: Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System
Source #2: Climate and Temperature.

Flora and fauna

Many of the flora and fauna have a broad circumpolar distribution in the South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans. Thus many of the species that occur in Tristan da Cunha appear as far away as New Zealand. For example, the plant species Nertera depressa was first collected in Tristan da Cunha, but has since been recorded in occurrence as far distant as New Zealand.

Tristan is primarily known for its wildlife. The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because there are 13 known species of breeding seabirds on the island and two species of resident land birds. The seabirds include northern rockhopper penguins, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses, sooty albatrosses, Atlantic petrels, great-winged petrels, soft-plumaged petrels, broad-billed prions, grey petrels, great shearwaters, sooty shearwaters, Tristan skuas, Antarctic terns and brown noddies. Tristan and Gough Islands are the only known breeding sites in the world for the Atlantic petrel (Pterodroma incerta; IUCN status EN). Inaccessible Island is also the only known breeding ground of the Spectacled Petrel (Procellaria conspicillata; IUCN Vulnerable). The Tristan albatross (IUCN status CR) is known to breed only on Gough and Inaccessible Islands: all nest on Gough except for one or two pairs who nest on Inaccessible Island.

The endemic Tristan thrush or starchy occurs on all of the northern islands and each has its own subspecies, with Tristan birds being slightly smaller and duller than those on Nightingale and Inaccessible. The endemic Inaccessible Island rail, the smallest extant flightless bird in the world, is found only on Inaccessible Island. In 1956 eight Gough moorhens were released at Sandy Point on Tristan, and have subsequently colonised the island.

Various species of whales and dolphins can be seen around Tristan from time to time with increasing sighting rate although recovery of baleen whales especially the southern right whale were severely hindered by illegal whaling by Soviet Union. The subantarctic fur seal Arctocephalus tropicalis can also be found in the Tristan archipelago, mostly on Gough Island.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.

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