(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS AND NEWSWEEK)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)
|Introduction||First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century, the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway’s sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.|
|History||Vikings may have discovered Svalbard as early as the 12th century. Traditional Norse accounts exist of a land known as Svalbarð – literally “cold shores” (but this land might also have been Jan Mayen, or a part of eastern Greenland). The Dutchman Willem Barents made the first indisputable discovery of Svalbard in 1596. The islands served as an international whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Greenland whale was extirpated from this region. From 1611 to the 1800s whaling took place off the western coast of Spitsbergen, by Belgian, British, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish ships. They also provided the headquarters for many Arctic exploration expeditions.
At the beginning of the 20th century, American, British, Swedish, Russian and Norwegian companies started coal mining. Norway’s sovereignty was recognized by the Svalbard Treaty of 1920 with an addition that there would be limited military use of Svalbard and that the other nations retained the rights to their settlements; five years later Norway officially took over the territory. Some historians claim that Norway was given sovereignty as compensation for its Merchant Fleet losses during World War I, when the Norwegian Merchant fleet played an important role supplying the UK. Only Norwegian and Russian settlements survived World War II.
From the late 1940s to the early 1980s the geology of the Svalbard archipelago was investigated by teams from Cambridge University and other universities (e.g., Oxford University), led by Cambridge geologist W. Brian Harland. Many of the geographical features of the isles are named after the participants in these expeditions, or were given names by them linked to places in Cambridge (see Norwegian Polar Institute).
The name of the largest island in the archipelago, Spitsbergen (Dutch for “Jagged mountains”) was formerly used to refer to the entire archipelago, while the main island was called West Spitsbergen.
|Geography||Location: Northern Europe, islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea, north of Norway
Geographic coordinates: 78 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references: Arctic Region
Area: total: 61,020 sq km
land: 61,020 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Spitsbergen and Bjornoya (Bear Island)
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 3,587 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 4 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm unilaterally claimed by Norway but not recognized by Russia
Climate: arctic, tempered by warm North Atlantic Current; cool summers, cold winters; North Atlantic Current flows along west and north coasts of Spitsbergen, keeping water open and navigable most of the year
Terrain: wild, rugged mountains; much of high land ice covered; west coast clear of ice about one-half of the year; fjords along west and north coasts
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Arctic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Newtontoppen 1,717 m
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, phosphate, wildlife, fish
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (no trees; the only bushes are crowberry and cloudberry) (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: ice floes often block the entrance to Bellsund (a transit point for coal export) on the west coast and occasionally make parts of the northeastern coast inaccessible to maritime traffic
Environment – current issues: NA
Geography – note: northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway; consists of nine main islands; glaciers and snowfields cover 60% of the total area; Spitsbergen Island is the site of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a seed repository established by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Norwegian Government
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)
|Introduction||All of the following US Pacific island territories except Midway Atoll constitute the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex and as such are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Midway Atoll NWR has been included in a Refuge Complex with the Hawaiian Islands NWR and also designated as part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These remote refuges are the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country’s jurisdiction. They sustain many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere.
Baker Island: The US took possession of the island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Howland Island: Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the uninhabited atoll was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano deposits until about 1890. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island, similar to the effort on nearby Baker Island, but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The famed American aviatrix Amelia EARHART disappeared while seeking out Howland Island as a refueling stop during her 1937 round-the-world flight; Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was named in her memory. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Jarvis Island: First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano had been removed. The UK annexed the island in 1889, but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935 until it was abandoned in 1942 during World War II. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
Johnston Atoll: Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, and subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction, cleanup, and closure of the facility was completed by May 2005. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options; in the interim, Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the US Air Force.
Kingman Reef: The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge.
Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a National Wildlife Refuge and are the site of the world’s largest Laysan albatross colony.
Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the Federal government and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge. The lagoons and surrounding waters within the 12 nm US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and designated as a National Wildlife Refuge in January 2001.
Baker Island: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,830 nm (3,389 km) southwest of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Howland Island: island in the North Pacific Ocean 1,815 nm (3,361 km) southwest of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Jarvis Island: island in the South Pacific Ocean 1,305 nm (2,417 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Cook Islands
Johnston Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 717 nm (1,328 km) southwest of Honolulu, about one-third of the way from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands
Kingman Reef: reef in the North Pacific Ocean 930 nm (1,722 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and American Samoa
Midway Islands: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 1,260 nm (2,334 km) northwest of Honolulu near the end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, about one-third of the way from Honolulu to Tokyo
Palmyra Atoll: atoll in the North Pacific Ocean 960 nm (1,778 km) south of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and American Samoa
Geographic coordinates: Baker Island: 0 13 N, 176 28 W
Howland Island: 0 48 N, 176 38 W
Jarvis Island: 0 23 S, 160 01 W
Johnston Atoll: 16 45 N, 169 31 W
Kingman Reef: 6 23 N, 162 25 W
Midway Islands: 28 12 N, 177 22 W
Palmyra Atoll: 5 53 N, 162 05 W
Map references: Oceania
Area: total – 6,959.41 sq km; emergent land – 22.41 sq km; submerged – 6,937 sq km
Baker Island: total – 129.1 sq km; emergent land – 2.1 sq km; submerged – 127 sq km
Howland Island: total – 138.6 sq km; emergent land – 2.6 sq km; submerged – 136 sq km
Jarvis Island: total – 152 sq km; emergent land – 5 sq km; submerged – 147 sq km
Johnston Atoll: total – 276.6 sq km; emergent land – 2.6 sq km; submerged – 274 sq km
Kingman Reef: total – 1,958.01 sq km; emergent land – 0.01 sq km; submerged – 1,958 sq km
Midway Islands: total – 2,355.2 sq km; emergent land – 6.2 sq km; submerged – 2,349 sq km
Palmyra Atoll: total – 1,949.9 sq km; emergent land – 3.9 sq km; submerged – 1,946 sq km
Area – comparative: Baker Island: about two and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Howland Island: about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Jarvis Island: about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Johnston Atoll: about four and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Kingman Reef: a little more than one and a half times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Midway Islands: about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Palmyra Atoll: about 20 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: none
Coastline: Baker Island: 4.8 km
Howland Island: 6.4 km
Jarvis Island: 8 km
Johnston Atoll: 34 km
Kingman Reef: 3 km
Midway Islands: 15 km
Palmyra Atoll: 14.5 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
Johnston Atoll and Kingman Reef: tropical, but generally dry; consistent northeast trade winds with little seasonal temperature variation
Midway Islands: subtropical with cool, moist winters (December to February) and warm, dry summers (May to October); moderated by prevailing easterly winds; most of the 1,067 mm (42 in) of annual rainfall occurs during the winter
Palmyra Atoll: equatorial, hot; located within the low pressure area of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet, it is extremely wet with between 4,000-5,000 mm (160-200 in) of rainfall each year
Terrain: low and nearly level sandy coral islands with narrow fringing reefs that have developed at the top of submerged volcanic mountains, which in most cases rise steeply from the ocean floor
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Baker Island, unnamed location – 8 m; Howland Island, unnamed location – 3 m; Jarvis Island, unnamed location – 7 m; Johnston Atoll, Sand Island – 10 m; Kingman Reef, unnamed location – less than 2 m; Midway Islands, unnamed location – 13 m; Palmyra Atoll, unnamed location – 3 m
Natural resources: terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2008)
Natural hazards: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Kingman Reef: wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of less than 2 m makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard
Midway Islands, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls: NA
Environment – current issues: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, and Johnston Atoll: no natural fresh water resources
Kingman Reef: none
Midway Islands and Palmyra Atoll: NA
Geography – note: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife; closed to the public
Johnston Atoll: Johnston Island and Sand Island are natural islands, which have been expanded by coral dredging; North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina) are manmade islands formed from coral dredging; the egg-shaped reef is 34 km in circumference; closed to the public
Kingman Reef: barren coral atoll with deep interior lagoon; closed to the public
Midway Islands: a coral atoll managed as a national wildlife refuge and open to the public for wildlife-related recreation in the form of wildlife observation and photography
Palmyra Atoll: the high rainfall and resulting lush vegetation make the environment of this atoll unique among the US Pacific Island territories; supports a large undisturbed stand of Pisonia beach forest
|People||Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: public entry is by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service only and generally restricted to scientists and educators; visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service
Johnston Atoll: in previous years, an average of 1,100 US military and civilian contractor personnel were present; as of May 2005 all US government personnel had left the island
Midway Islands: approximately 40 people make up the staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service and their services contractor living at the atoll
Palmyra Atoll: four to 20 Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife staff, and researchers
|Government||Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Baker Island; Howland Island; Jarvis Island; Johnston Atoll; Kingman Reef; Midway Islands; Palmyra Atoll
Dependency status: unincorporated territories of the US; administered from Washington, DC by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
note on Palmyra Atoll: incorporated Territory of the US; partly privately owned and partly federally owned; administered from Washington, DC by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior; the Office of Insular Affairs of the US Department of the Interior continues to administer nine excluded areas comprising certain tidal and submerged lands within the 12 nm territorial sea or within the lagoon
Legal system: the laws of the US, where applicable, apply
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territories of the US)
Flag description: the flag of the US is used
|Economy||Economy – overview: no economic activity|
|Transportation||Airports: Baker Island: one abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m covered with vegetation and unusable
Howland Island: airstrip constructed in 1937 for scheduled refueling stop on the round-the-world flight of Amelia EARHART and Fred NOONAN; the aviators left Lae, New Guinea, for Howland Island but were never seen again; the airstrip is no longer serviceable
Johnston Atoll: one closed and not maintained
Kingman Reef: lagoon was used as a halfway station between Hawaii and American Samoa by Pan American Airways for flying boats in 1937 and 1938
Midway Islands: 3 – one operational (2,409 m paved); no fuel for sale except emergencies
Palmyra Atoll: 1 – 1,846 m unpaved runway; privately owned (2008)
Ports and terminals: Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, and Kingman Reef: none; offshore anchorage only
Johnston Atoll: Johnston Island
Midway Islands: Sand Island
Palmyra Atoll: West Lagoon
|Military||Military – note: defense is the responsibility of the US|
|Transnational Issues||Disputes – international: none|
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
(JOHANNESBURG) — A giraffe has killed a South African filmmaker who was on assignment at a wildlife facility northwest of Johannesburg.
Filming agency CallaCrew says Carlos Carvalho was filming a feature on Wednesday at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom when he “had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set.”
The agency says Carvalho was flown to a Johannesburg hospital and died there of injuries that night.
South African media say Carvalho was near the giraffe when it swung its neck and knocked him over.
The Glen Afric website promises tourists that “you can get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife.”
The British television series “Wild at Heart” was filmed at Glen Afric, which invites visitors to tour the area where filming occurred.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(CNN)Approximately 191 feral horses have been found dead in a stock pond on Navajo land in northern Arizona, according to Navajo leaders, who attributed the death to ongoing drought and famine.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TECH TIMES)
An 11-year-old girl from East Tennessee is making headlines after discovering a rare ancient fossil near a lake with her family one afternoon.
Ryleigh Taylor was walking along the banks of Douglas Lake in Dandrige, Tennessee, when she spotted some rocks. After examining the rocks, she noticed that one of the rocks looked unusual. It turned out that the rock was a 475-million-year-old fossil.
“To find something like that, it’s really really cool,” Ryleigh told Tennessee television station WATE-TV. “I looked down while I was walking and I found it, I just saw it.”
Her family wanted to know more about the fossil. They contacted the University of Tennessee, and they soon discovered that the fossil was a trilobite, a marine creature that lived nearly 500 million years ago.
Colin Sumrall, an associate professor of paleobiology at the University of Tennessee, said that the discovery was unique because fossils of trilobites typically molt and crumble.
“To find one where all the pieces are intact, it’s actually a pretty lucky find,” said Sumrall.
Trilobites were arachnomorph arthropods that existed during the Paleozoic era. They were extinct before the dinosaurs were around on the planet.
Although most trilobites came in different sizes, they all shared some common physical traits, such as cephalon (head), a segmented thorax, and a pygidium (tail). Scientists have spotted fossils of trilobites across all continents.
These animals typically lived in shallow water, although some were able to float on top of the water. Trilobites also fed on detritus or other types of soft food. To hide from pedators, trilobites could use their legs to dig a hole in the bottom of the water.
Since these animals existed all around the world, they had to adapt to different water conditions to survive. As a result, scientists have identified 20,000 different kinds of trilobites. Some trilobites had different types of eyes and vision capabilities than others. A few species were actually blind, but others had a great depth of field to see potential predators and find food.
Taylor hopes that her incredible discovery will inspire other children to explore outside and get interested in science. A career in science could also be in the cards for her.
“To find something like that, it could spark this youngster into a whole career. Maybe she’ll become a great paleontologist one day,” said Sumrall.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POPULAR SCIENCE)
Good Joke From A Old School Friend On Facebook; Copy Pasted
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(CNN)Rare prehistoric dinosaur footprints discovered in the UK have shed new light on the middle Jurassic period, according to a new report.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
An 11-foot-long alligator went for a night-time swim in a family’s pool in Sarasota County, Fla.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s office responded to a late night call Friday from a family in Nokomis, Fla. who needed help getting the animal safely out of their pool.
“The 11-foot intruder didn’t gracefully make his way through an open door,” the Sarasota Sheriff’s office tweeted. “He decided instead, to bust right through the screen.”
A professional trapper was able to safely remove the reptile from the pool and release it. No one, including the alligator, was hurt during the trapping process. The sheriff’s office had a sense of humor about the alligator situation, tweeting out the caption “Just no” with the hashtags #onlyinflorida and #neveradullmoment, along with video footage of the gator being captured.
The alligator video has been viewed over 78,000 times on Facebook already and more than 4,000 times on Twitter. The sheriff’s office also posted photos on Facebook of the alligator as he was heading back into the wild from his quick trip to the suburbs.
There are over 5 million alligators in the Southeastern U.S. and around 1.25 million alligators in Florida alone, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
A 10 year-old girl successfully fended off an alligator attack in Florida last year by sticking her fingers up the animal’s nostrils. She said she learned the survival tactic at an alligator theme park. Doing so prevented the animal from breathing, so it was forced to open its mouth for oxygen and released her from its bite in the process.
More than 16,000 complaints about alligators on the loose were received by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2016. The alligator who went swimming in the pool Friday was large in comparison to most trouble-making alligators in Florida —according to the most recent data, the average size of alligators causing a nuisance in 2016 was 6 feet, 7 inches long.
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