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May-June 2013

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Island of Hawaii – Pinnacle of the Pacific

The Island of Hawaii—many know it as the “Big Island”—rises to nearly three miles above the tropical waters of the mid-Pacific Ocean. Due primarily to its height, however, only the coast and the lowlands just inland of its shoreline experience a tropical climate. Hawaii might best be described as an island with a series of nested climatological islands within its interior, stacked one atop another with increasing altitude. At the very apex of the Big Island stands one of the most rarified “climate islands” to be found anywhere on the planet—the crisp, lucid air of the summit of Mauna Kea.

ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer. Learn more at

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