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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.
- Tapping Erebus's Poweron July 26, 2021 at 12:12 pm
The heat given off by Antarctica's Mount Erebus could help power instruments monitoring the volcano, giving scientists a way to study Erebus's lava lake during the long polar night for the first time. Researchers have found a way to harness the heat from the magma underneath Erebus and turn it into […]
- Radar Satellites Spot Dangerous Crevasses Humans...on July 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Antarctic researchers and support staff can now more easily find and avoid dangerous crevasses on long traverses carrying supplies to remote camps and stations, thanks to the help of a German radar satellite.
- Ice core tells 11,000-year history of explosive...on June 30, 2021 at 12:12 pm
An ice core from West Antarctica is giving scientists insight into some intriguing climate anomalies of ages past and deepening the mystery of a volcanic eruption that destroyed a Greek island some 3,600 years ago.
- Southern Ocean Sea Ice Cover Has Gradually Grown...on June 14, 2021 at 12:12 pm
Salt levels in an ice core drilled at the South Pole are telling scientists what Antarctic sea ice conditions were like in ages past, information crucial to understanding how the southernmost continent will fare in a changing climate.
- Thwaites Glacier - Futureon May 17, 2021 at 12:12 pm
The massive Thwaites Glacier on the coast of West Antarctica is falling to pieces because of climate change. Shifting ocean currents are bringing warm sea water up under its vulnerable underside, melting out the ice at its base and accelerating its movement into the ocean.