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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.
- Scientists prepare for rare Antarctic solar...on November 23, 2021 at 9:12 am
Antarctica will experience a total solar eclipse next Saturday, a rare occurrence that will give scientists insight into the behavior of Earth's upper atmosphere.
- The stone thieveson November 9, 2021 at 9:12 am
Adelie penguins often steal stones from each other's nests, but new research shows the wily birds target some nests more than others.
- Antarctic ice shivers from distant earthquakeson October 7, 2021 at 9:12 am
Antarctica is the most remote continent on Earth, but new research shows it is still connected to what happens in the rest of the world. A new study finds large earthquakes can cause ice on the slopes of Antarctica's Mt. Erebus to quiver and vibrate, even when the quake happens thousands of miles […]
- Scoping out the seal mating sceneon September 20, 2021 at 9:12 am
Biologists have been observing how male Weddell seals secure prime locations when courting females to learn more about the southernmost mammal's mysterious breeding behavior.
- Meet the Penguin Misfitson September 7, 2021 at 9:12 am
Looks are important for Adelie penguins, but they may not be as critical for breeding as biologists previously thought. New research shows Adelie penguins with unusual coloring still manage to breed successfully, contrary to what biologists had predicted.