Howland Island Geography and Climate

Howland Island has belonged to the United States since February 5, 1857 and is considered an area within the remote islands of the United States. This island has never become an incorporated part of the United States and it is perhaps not so strange because there is no population here and those who move on the island are mainly scientists who come here to study the environment and nature. People usually talk about Howland Island and Baker Island together as Baker-Howland for Baker Island is only about 100 km away from Howland. Together, the two islands are called the Phoenix Islands in English.

Howland Island was discovered in 1822 by the American captain George B. Worth, but perhaps better known is that the island was never reached by Amelia Earhart when she failed to fly around the world. Howland Island is located in Micronesia, part of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

More about Howland Island

This island was thus discovered in the early 19th century by the United States, but it would not be until 1857 before the United States officially claimed it. Both American and British companies mined guano on the island until 1890 and in 1935 they tried to colonize the island but this did not succeed. To get to Howland Island, you must have a special permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is mostly researchers and educators who come here, and there is an airfield that was built in 1937 in preparation for Amelia Earhart who was expected to land to refuel, but that did not happen and today you can not use the airfield as it is not serviced. You can instead get to the island by boat. In the middle of the island’s west coast there is a place where boats can dock.

Geography and climate

Howland Island is a coral island with a maximum height of 6 meters. A large part of the island consists of sand and low vegetation. There are no sources of fresh water and today the island is considered a nature reserve. The island is surrounded by a narrow reef and here there are plenty of seabirds. The island has a rich marine life that is of great interest to the researchers who come here to study unique species up close. The climate is equatorial and this means that you do not get much rain and that the sun shines in a very intense way. The temperatures are regulated a bit by the fact that it is constantly blowing from the east.

Howland Island Geography