Thursday, April 7, 2011

An "Ideal" Tropical Getaway

Nothing has ever seemed normal for Skull Island except for the climate. When studied in detail the island's climate and weather patterns give some form of order to its chaotic existence.Lying far west of Sumatra in the heart of the Indian Ocean at approximately -12 S,78 N Skull Island is profoundly affected by its proximity to the Earth's equator, and its position in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). 
Map image illustrating Skull Island's approximate location
Skull Island owes its rich tropical rain forest climate to the systems of global air convergence that cause the formation of the planet's global rain belts. Specifically, the island is dominated by the tropical rain belt which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year roughly following the solar equator (largely a manifestation of the ITCZ). The tropical rain belt lies in the southern hemisphere of the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean roughly from October to March providing the island with a pronounced "wet" season during those months. The island's precipitation is largely generated by convective uplift of warm, moist equatorial air (mE). A distinctive diurnal pattern of cumulus cloud development in the morning, precipitation in the early afternoon, followed by dissipating clouds towards the late afternoon is typical. 
Explorers navigate through Skull Island's thick rain forest
Anne Darrow plays "hard to get" with a handsome stranger
The humidity in the island's rain forest can be oppressive with dew point temperatures ranging from 59oF- 68oF. Since humidity is so high during the day, when cooling occurs at night, early morning radiation fogs form and heavy dew drips from the rain forest vegetation. These condensation products evaporate into the air as the sun rises, thus increasing the air's humidity. Skull Island's coast is also perpetually affected by Advection fog, a product of the westerly trade winds and cool currents. This gives the island its notorious reputation for being dangerous to locate, and near unnavigable. These traits were experienced first hand by the crew of the SS Venture who were the first human's outside of the island's inhabitants to discover the land mass.  

The SS Venture barrels through the cloud of fog
SS Venture colliding with the jagged coastline (should have been more careful...)
It is thanks to Skull Island's unique global position, and tropical climate that the fascinating (albeit frightening) ecosystem has managed to thrive for so long, and remain isolated from the outside world. There can be no doubt that this naturally protected and hidden land mass could not exist anywhere else on the planet. 


  1. I want to start by saying that I love your choice of Skull Island, as a landscape to analyze. The movie "King Kong", is one of my favorites, not just because of the story but the beautiful landscape its taken in.

    Your explanation on the humidity of Skull Island is well done. I find it really interesting that when cooling happens at night, the early morning radiation fog forms. I also am intrigue by the predictable weather pattern that occurs most days. I wonder how likely it would be for Skull Island to experience severe weather, such as hurricanes? The image of ”The Explorers navigating through Skull Island’s thick rainforest” is a perfect image to represent the islands tropical climate. I also have to agree with you that because of Skull Islands unique location and climate, unique plants and animals can inhabit that ecosystem. Overall, your blog post is very interesting and creative and I enjoyed reading it.

  2. The pictures you use are spectacular, and you clearly understand what you're talking about. If this was a brochure I think it would be a great way to pass the time. But your sentences are very wordy, and long, if not sometimes difficult to follow. congratulations on thinking of such a fantastically varied landscape to explore, though I imagine that you're tired of seeing King Kong beating the snot out of various animals by now. ^^;

  3. Velociraptors had physically powerful jaws with rows of bladed teeth. These, in combination with huge claws on their forelimbs and sickle-shaped talons on the second toe (the size of these claws could arrive at up to the length of the teeth on extinct saber-toothed cats), gave the animals some imposing weaponry. I liked your blog, Take the time to visit the me and say that the change in design and meniu?

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