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Antarctica : continent around the South Pole; a plateau covered by a great ice cap and mountain peaks area about 5,500,000 square miles (14,300,000 square kilometers) — Webster
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), 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. — Wikipedia
Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis (“Southern Land”) date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation. — Wikipedia
Notebook from Scott of the Antarctic’s ill-fated expedition discovered 100 years later frozen in ice (ABC News)
Century-Old Notebook From Antarctic Expedition Found (Megan Gannon, Discovery, Live Science)
Antarctic Sun - Science News Feed Science news items and articles displayed on the Antarctic Sun web site.
- On the Wings of Petrelson February 15, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Ecologist Donna Fraser carefully makes her way across a low rocky ridge towards a mass of gray feathers with a beak. It's the baby chick of a southern giant petrel.
- Counting on Sealson February 1, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Seal science in Antarctica continues, even as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world. Fewer researchers and support staff traveled to Antarctica in 2020 to reduce the risk of introducing the virus to the continent. One of the few science teams that did go is working on the long-term study of […]
- Weddell Seals Sing Songs Humans Can't Hearon January 18, 2021 at 12:12 pm
The seals of McMurdo Sound are more vocal than previously thought. A new research paper published in the December edition of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America shows that Weddell seals vocalize underwater at frequencies too high for humans to hear.
- A Bot in the Oceanon December 14, 2020 at 12:12 pm
During the past austral summer, scientists released an autonomous seafaring robot into the Southern Ocean. For four months, the small "Wave Glider" navigated the frigid Antarctic waters, collecting data on the surrounding ocean and atmosphere.
- An Aerial Assessment of Adelie Penguinson November 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Flying robots are helping scientists track the population of Adelie Penguins. This past austral summer, researchers flew a small fleet of coordinated unmanned aerial vehicles, or "UAVs," over Cape Crozier, one of the largest Adelie penguin colonies in the world, photographing it in greater detail […]