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 Antarctica

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,000,000 square kilometres (5,400,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.


Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 in) along the coast and far less inland. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) (or even −94.7 as measured from space), though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C (−81 °F). Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra.


Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of easily accessible resources, and isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed landing was conducted by a team of Norwegians.


Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.

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updated Sat. May 5, 2018

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She also showed how Antarctica, whose ice shelves are receding due to climate change, could be saved. Avani received an award from Robert Swan, the first man to walk to both the North and South poles - and the founder of 2041, an NGO working to train and educate a community of leaders dedicated to ...
What traveler hasn't dreamed of going to Antarctica? Every summer, from November to March, small ships shuttle between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. In 2016, 44,000 visitors landed there. At the beginning of this year, I was a visitor, too.

As much as 25 percent of Antarctica's annual ice melt is occurring during the winter months despite subzero temperatures averaging -48°C (56°F) during the continent's coldest months. Automated instruments on the Larsen C ice shelf – the world's largest floating glacial ice platform located east of the ...
SUNY Oswego alumna Dr. Hilary McManus will return to campus to discuss her role in a global initiative for women in science and her February journey to Antarctica at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 26. The lecture in Room 175 of the Shineman Center, part of the college's Feinberg Lecture Series, is free and ...
Two NASA scientists recently returned from a two week, 470-mile (760 kilometers) expedition in one of the most barren landscapes on Earth. NASA cryospheric scientist Kelly Brunt and ICESat-2 deputy project scientist Tom Neumann were mapping a section of the latitude line at 88 degrees south in the ...
An expedition to Antarctica seeks to uncover the lost ship of famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Researchers with Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute will lead the expedition to Larsen C Ice Shelf in the spring of next year. That's the same area where the Endurance, Shackleton's ship, ...

Bates Club of Antarctica: If you give a seal a camera ... A research biologist, he goes to Antarctica's South Shetland Islands each year to study those grizzly bear-sized marine mammals (as well as a few other animals). ... This is the second in a series about Bates alumni who spent this winter in Antarctica.
A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, which leads to increased snowfall in Antarctica — that's what it's one of the expected impacts of climate change. But scientists haven't been sure if the increased snowfall over Antarctica would reduce Antarctica's role in sea level rise by acting as a reservoir for ...
"If greenhouse gas emissions aren't controlled, then many models show that a significant portion of the Antarctic ice sheets will eventually melt, especially Western Antarctica," Burton said, adding that even if it took centuries for all of the ice to melt, the shorter-term implications of rising sea levels would still ...
An expedition to Antarctica seeks to uncover the lost ship of famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Researchers with Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute will lead the expedition to Larsen C Ice Shelf in the spring of next year. That's the same area where the Endurance, Shackleton's ship, ...
This week's report, by Elizabeth Thomas and colleagues from the British Antarctic Survey, that snowfall has been increasing in Antarctica is hardly surprising. What is different that it is much more comprehensive than previous studies, which were largely limited by a virtual lack of pre-1957 data. That was the ...
At 780g, the weight of the apparatus felt fully tolerable (rather than unnoticeable) during shore excursions too. Camera equipment. Attire that ensures guests are protected from the element is the most vital Antarctica packing consideration, but the object we all considered most essential was our camera ...
In fact, it used to be thought that increased snowfall in the Antarctica would more than counter any ice loss due to warming. Early IPCC reports forecast that the ice sheets of Antarctica would grow over the 21 century. But gravity-measuring satellites have shown that the continent's ice sheets have been ...
If Antarctica and Greenland were just big ol' ice cubes, projecting future sea-level rise would be a snap. The physics of ice melting are simple when you know the temperature. But these frozen continents are not nearly as boring as a cube of ice, so the task of working out how fast they will melt over the next ...
The ice of Antarctica, like that of Greenland, rests on land. If it all were to melt, as it has done in the far distant past, sea levels could rise by as much as 60 metres. That is most unlikely to happen. What is possible, though, is that the smaller portion of the continent, west Antarctica, which is divided from the ...
In December 2017, The North Face sent a dream team of athletes to climb mountains in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. The squad, captained by Cedar Wright, included all-star climbers Alex Honnold, Conrad Anker, Savannah Cummins, Anna Pfaff, and Jimmy Chin. The goal of Expedition Antarctica was to ...
ANTARCTICA. Glaciers are quickly losing ground. Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter. Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2018. An ambitious new mapping project has given scientists one of their most complete looks yet at the movement of glaciers all around Antarctica.

On their way back from the South Pole in 1912, Robert Falcon Scott and his team discovered the delicate lines of plant leaves pressed into the hard rock of Antarctica. They were “beautifully traced” fossils, Scott wrote. Despite the explorers' fatigue and dwindling supplies, they collected samples, evidence ...
The first complete map of Antarctica's retreating submarine edge has thrown up some surprising discoveries for polar scientists. Antarctica has lost an area of underwater ice about as large as the entire county of Leitrim over a period of seven years. Using satellite data, a team led by Dr Hannes Konrad from the Centre for ...
Scientists now have their best view yet of where Antarctica is giving up ground to the ocean as some of its biggest glaciers are eaten away from below by warm water. Researchers using Europe's Cryosat radar spacecraft have traced the movement of grounding lines around the continent. These are the places where the ...
He was at the bottom of the Earth living in buildings encased with 20 feet of ice at the Navy's Byrd Station in Antarctica. "We wondered if something happened, would they be able to come in and rescue us," said Manke, who served with the Navy's Seabees, the sailors trained in construction trades. With him ...
A pair of soldiers who were part of the first all-female group to cross Antarctica by muscle power alone have visited an Aberdeen school. The British Army's Ice Maiden expedition challenged six women to spend 62 days on the ice. The team completed the task in January, and now the group's leader Major ...
While dark-coloured nonmetallic meteorites are relatively easy to spot on the white expanse of Antarctic, researchers note that iron meteorite finds in Antarctica are significantly fewer than in other parts of the world. Experts think that the missing meteorites may be just a few centimetres below the surface of ...
This year, at least seven Bates alumni traveled to Antarctica to conduct or document research. They spent the Antarctic summer, which is Maine's winter, taking samples, transporting hundreds of tons of gear, or sticking cameras on the backs of seals. In doing so, they hope to uncover the secrets of ...
A FORTNIGHT before he would have turned 24, Subhajit Sen, a Indian student-scientist died in an accident in Antarctica Wednesday, the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) said. Sen, hailing from a village in West Bengal and a student of IIT Bhubaneswar, was part of the 37th ...
UW Oshkosh alum Jason Coenen went to Antarctica during the 2013-2014 drilling season to study and to better understand the evolution of climate on Earth. Coenen, who graduated UWO in 2013, finished his master's at Northern Illinois University after an expedition to do research of basin history in ...
A 24 year-old Indian student-scientist from IIT Bhubaneswar met with a tragic end during an ambitious Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. Hailing from a village in West Bengal, Subhajit Sen, who was part of the 37th Indian Scientific Expedition died in an accident in AntarcticaWednesday near Indian ...
Stokes said she heard about the trip to Antarctica that the Smalls were arranging and thought that “I could do that,” convincing her sister to accompany her. As the time neared for the cruise and more informational materials about the cruise began to arrive in the mail, she said her sister called her and asked, ...
But in fact, Antarctica is the best place to find meteorites. Its dry, cold climate perfectly preserves the asteroid fragments that make it through the atmosphere and crash on Earth. The ice sheets that encapsulate the rocks create a sort of “meteorite conveyor belt,” concentrating them in areas where they are ...
Australia's infrastructure assets and capability in Antarctica “have traditionally been outstanding” but warned rising powers are eager to displace us. “Australian leadership in Antarctic science is receding, which is impacting Australia's influence in the region,” the Academy wrote. “Most significantly, scientific ...
The project to find Antarctica's "missing meteorites" is making excellent progress, say scientists. A group led from Manchester University is developing detection equipment it believes will discover a bounty of iron space objects buried in the polar ice. This survey gear has just come through a week of ...
Dr. Nicholas Teets and Leslie Potts spent the winter in Antarctica studying the Antarctic midge, an insect that may be the answer to cryopresevation. Photo provided by Dr. Nicholas Teets and Leslie Potts. Two staff members from UK's Department of Entomology recently returned from a chilling winter spent ...
Antarctica is dry, windy, piercingly cold, and quite simply put, one of the most punishing regions on earth. The British Navy explorer, Captain Robert Scott, died here with four others in 1912, soon after learning he had been beaten to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen. That same year, the young English ...
Thousands of miles away in Antarctica, trash and recyclable items are whisked away just once a year. They too end up at the recycling center on Del Norte Boulevard in Oxnard. Workers at the center sort through the boxes and boxes of recyclables just like they do for local items. The empty pasta box goes ...
A professor of the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) was among the scientists who had the opportunity to stay at India's bases in Antarctica, Bharati and Maitri, recently. K. Balakrishna, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, was part of the 37th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica along with 40 ...
Visits to Antarctica are treasured memories for Whanganui's Ridgway Lythgoe and he's donating images from them to New Zealand's Alexander Turnbull Library. Mr Lythgoe has been a keen photographer, especially since the advent of digital photography. Many of his hundreds of slides and photographs ...
... is keen on them, and the insights they could provide regarding how marine mammals navigate icy waters. "I'm such an excited scientist right now!" Eisert exclaimed in a statement released by Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency tasked with supporting the island nation's activities in Antarctica.
Australia risks ceding its influence in Antarctica to nations such as Russia and China because drastic cuts to scientific research are eroding its credibility in the region, respected scientists say. They include the Australian Academy of Science, comprising more than 500 of the nation's leading scientists, which ...
The 1930 documentary, With Byrd at the South Pole, promised to bring to cinemas “Drama of human daring and courage at the bottom of the world! Actually filmed in the vast unknown of the Antarctic!” It followed the American navy commander Richard Byrd's celebrated expedition, and captured the first ...
Meena Rajput was raised to be a "good Indian girl". To cook, clean and have a family. But she's already been arrested and cautioned for an environmental protest with Greenpeace. Instead of settling down and getting married she's heading to Antarctica as part of a team exploring one of the harshest ...
Students at Wymondham College take a look at the sledge which Lance Sgt Sophie Montagne pulled across Antarctica as a member of the all female team, the Ice Maidens. From left, Alice Tall, 13; Georgina Abell-Plant, 13; Freya Myhill, 13; Emily Byrne, 14; and Chiedza Kunyeda, 15. Picture: DENISE ...
Melting ice on Antarctica is impacting sea levels all across the globe. That's why a father-and-son explorer team, Robert and Barney Swan, set out on an expedition to cross the continent on foot. The goal for this marathon trek was to highlight the importance of combating climate change. Their story can be ...
“It's the 300 club,” the 73-year-old Antarctica historian said, laughing. “You sit in a 200-degree sauna, put on shoes, go outside in 100-degree-below-zero temperatures or colder and take pictures. It's that 300-degree shift in temperature.” On a freezing day waiting on yet another storm to slam New England, ...
These two animals, more than most, were used to adventure: Just days before, they had returned from a two-year trip to Antarctica, where they and a couple of other cows had been part of an expedition led by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd. What drives someone to bring cows to the bottom of the world?
These black-and-white minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) can grow to be 33 feet (10 meters) long and weigh some 10 tons (9 metric tons), according to Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency responsible for carrying out New Zealand's scientific and environmental-protection projects in ...
Conspiracies thrive in Antarctica. It's locked down tight, they say, patrolled by the military - and only those with official security clearance can enter the most secretive areas. The Arrival Heights laboratory is inside one of those secure areas. Only those with Government-authorised permits can enter - and, ...
Antarctica is pretty much the most isolated place on the planet, which is why it's also one of the most fascinating. Homestretch naturalist Brian Keating just returned from a visit and spoke to Terri Campbell about the exciting new discovery of a 1.5-million strong penguin colony on islands so remote, no one ...
Antarctica. The name evokes images of bitter extremes, an environment unkind to humans. Stories of polar explorers battling with the weather and perishing on their way back to safety. Why would astronomers choose to go there? To get the best views of space, space itself is the best place to be. Here on ...
Most couples would be satisfied with an ice sculpture at their wedding. But for designer Brian Patrick Flynn, only an iceberg would do. The Atlanta-based interiors guru behind the HGTV Dream Home and HGTV Urban Oasis tied the knot with his boyfriend of 12 years, costume designer Hollis Smith, on an ...
The trip began in Punta Arenas, the capital of Magallanes region, Chile. We had spent three days aboard the Arctic Sunrise, a Greenpeace ship docked in one of the city's harbors, to test our equipment and conduct security drills. I was eager to get to Antarctica. Greenpeace, the global environmental group, ...


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