West Antarctica was partially in the Northern Hemisphere, and during this period large amounts of sandstones, limestones and shales were deposited. All but a small portion of this region lies within the Eastern Hemisphere. The Antarctican dollar, a souvenir item sold in the United States and Canada, is not legal tender.. Lake Vostok, discovered beneath Russia's Vostok Station in 1996, is the largest of these subglacial lakes. Some countries don’t recognise any … Antarctica is often called "The Frozen Continent". Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. At 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Australia.  Another member of Chironomidae is Parochlus steinenii. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecology. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. If found, these resilient creatures could further bolster the argument for extraterrestrial life in extremely cold, methane-rich environments. , Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 m (16,050 ft), is located in the Ellsworth Mountains. On top of this base are coal and various modern rocks, such as sandstones, limestones and shales laid down during the Devonian and Jurassic periods to form the Transantarctic Mountains. There is also evidence of volcanic activity, even after the ice sheet had formed, in Marie Byrd Land and Alexander Island. If all of this ice were melted, sea levels would rise about 60 m (200 ft). , European maps continued to show this hypothetical land until Captain James Cook's ships, HMS Resolution and Adventure, crossed the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart, and Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago. , In September 2006 NASA satellite data revealed that the Antarctic ozone hole was larger than at any other time on record, at 2,750,000 km2 (1,060,000 sq mi). Antarctic fisheries in 1998–99 (1 July – 30 June) reported landing 119,898 tonnes legally. Fortunately for polar enthusiasts, there are no cities on the Antarctic continent –only stations. Some of these claims are recognised by other countries, but many aren’t. The illegal fishing of toothfish has been increasing, with estimates of 32,000 tonnes (35,000 short tons) in 2000. ", "Fastest unsupported (kite assisted) journey to the South Pole taking just 34 days", "Snow in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica", "Scientists Discover Undersea Volcano Off Antarctica", "New Antarctica Map Is Like 'Putting on Glasses for the First Time and Seeing 20/20' – A high resolution terrain map of Earth's frozen continent will help researchers better track changes on the ice as the planet warms", "Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth", "Anatomy of a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of Antarctica", "Antarctica yields first land mammal fossil", "New CO2 data helps unlock the secrets of Antarctic formation", "A forest grows in Antarctica.  Despite these new acts, unregulated and illegal fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish (marketed as Chilean Sea Bass in the U.S.), remains a serious problem. The ice was being held back by a "thread" of ice about 6 km (4 mi) wide, prior to its collapse on 5 April 2009. Many countries conducted their first Antarctic explorations and constructed the first research stations on Antarctica. Belgian polar explorer Alain Hubert stated: "This base will be the first of its kind to produce zero emissions, making it a unique model of how energy should be used in the Antarctic." 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. If life is discovered in Lake Vostok, it would strengthen the argument for the possibility of life on Europa. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58 aimed to end Cold War divisions among the scientific community by promoting global scientific exchange.  The first recorded and confirmed landing was at Cape Adair in 1895 (by the Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship Antarctic).  In 2004, a potentially active underwater volcano was found in the Antarctic Peninsula by American and Canadian researchers. This is a list of the countries of the world by continent, according to the United Nations Statistics Division, displayed with their respective national flags and capitals. , A satellite record revealed that the overall increase in Antarctic sea ice extents reversed in 2014, with rapid rates of decrease in 2014–2017 reducing the Antarctic sea ice extents to their lowest values in the 40-y record. , The passing of the Antarctic Conservation Act (1978) in the U.S. brought several restrictions to U.S. activity on Antarctica. The latter in its brief sojourn actually made a temporary landing; while the Wilkes expedition, though it did not make a landing, did remain long enough in the region to survey and map some 800 miles of the continent. This cooling has the effect of intensifying the westerly winds which flow around the continent (the polar vortex) and thus prevents outflow of the cold air near the South Pole. For other uses, see, The word was originally pronounced with the first, John George Bartholomew and the naming of Antarctica, CAIRT Issue 13, National Library of Scotland, July 2008, ISSN 1477-4186, and also, Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic, List of Antarctic and subantarctic islands, Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, "Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica", "The World at a Glance: Surprising Facts", "Coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth in Antarctica: -94.7C (−135.8F)", "Antarctic Explorers Timeline: Early 1800s", "Women in Antarctica: Sharing this Life-Changing Experience", "Dates in American Naval History: October", "Børge Ousland: How I crossed Antarctica alone", "O'Brady's Antarctic Crossing: Was It Really Unassisted?  The amount of surface warming in West Antarctica, while large, has not led to appreciable melting at the surface, and is not directly affecting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet's contribution to sea level. Currently, the Polar Geospatial Center can image all of Antarctica at 500 mm (20 in) resolution every 45 days. In West Antarctica, coniferous forests dominated through the entire Cretaceous period (146–66 Ma), though southern beech became more prominent towards the end of this period. No country owns Antarctica, although several countries have claimed parts of it. As a result, the continental mass of the East Antarctic ice sheet is held at lower temperatures, and the peripheral areas of Antarctica, especially the Antarctic Peninsula, are subject to higher temperatures, which promote accelerated melting. Many of the stations are staffed year-round, the winter-over personnel typically arriving from their home countries for a one-year assignment. The orbital distance contributes to a colder Antarctic winter (and a warmer Antarctic summer) but the first two effects have more impact. In the dry valleys, the same effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a desiccated landscape.. These are floating extensions of outflowing glaciers from the continental ice mass. The Antarctic Peninsula began to form during the Jurassic period (206–146 Ma), and islands gradually rose out of the ocean. Unfortunately, due to climate change, Antarctica has become a symbol for scientists and policymakers to push for environmental changes to protect this region.  The hole was detected by scientists in 1985 and has tended to increase over the years of observation.  However, increased ice outflow has been suggested in some regions. , About thirty countries maintain about seventy research stations (40-year-round or permanent, and 30 summer-only) in Antarctica, with an approximate population of 4000 in summer and 1000 in winter. The common misconception that the territories claimed by various sovereign nations in Antarctica are independent countries is not correct. The ozone hole is attributed to the emission of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs into the atmosphere, which decompose the ozone into other gases. According to various organisations (the National Science Foundation, NASA, the University of California, San Diego, the Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic, among others), ships captained by three men sighted Antarctica or its ice shelf in 1820: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (a captain in the Imperial Russian Navy), Edward Bransfield (a captain in the Royal Navy), and Nathaniel Palmer (a sealer from Stonington, Connecticut). , Emilio Marcos Palma was the first person born south of the 60th parallel south, the first born on the Antarctic mainland, and the only living human to be the first born on any continent. Antarctica has no indigenous human inhabitants, but always has seasonal staff drawn from the countries collectively bound by the treaty. The IGY prompted an intense period of scientific research in the Antarctic. Glaciation began at the end of the Devonian period (360 Ma), as Gondwana became centred on the South Pole and the climate cooled, though flora remained. The overfishing of krill, which plays a large role in the Antarctic ecosystem, led officials to enact regulations on fishing. , Other countries participating as members of the Antarctic Treaty have a territorial interest in Antarctica, but the provisions of the Treaty do not allow them to make their claims while it is in force. , A study published in Nature Geoscience in 2013 identified central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth. The research is part of the global Census of Marine Life and has disclosed some remarkable findings. Ammonites were common in the seas around Antarctica, and dinosaurs were also present, though only three Antarctic dinosaur genera (Cryolophosaurus and Glacialisaurus, from the Hanson Formation, and Antarctopelta) have been described to date. In 1985, three British scientists working on data they had gathered at Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf discovered the existence of a hole in this layer. The sheet has been of recent concern because of the small possibility of its collapse. Many astronomical observations are better made from the interior of Antarctica than from most surface locations because of the high elevation, which results in a thin atmosphere; low temperature, which minimises the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere; and absence of light pollution, thus allowing for a view of space clearer than anywhere else on Earth.  For comparison, this is 10.7 °C (20 °F) colder than subliming dry ice at one atmosphere of partial pressure, but since CO2 only makes up 0.039% of air, temperatures of less than −140 °C (−220 °F) would be needed to produce dry ice snow in Antarctica. Among these are pieces blasted off the Moon, and probably Mars, by impacts. Antarctica is the coldest continent in the world, completely covered with ice. It is composed of a metamorphic and igneous platform which is the basis of the continental shield. A combination of freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, lack of moisture, and lack of sunlight inhibit plant growth.  Sunburn is often a health issue as the snow surface reflects almost all of the ultraviolet light falling on it. Each summer about 500 people travel south, by ship or plane, as part of the Australian Antarctic Program. How many countries are there in Antarctica that claim portions of its territory? The flora of the continent largely consists of bryophytes.  However, new techniques such as remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar and satellite imagery have begun to reveal the structures beneath the ice. , In 2002 the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen-B ice shelf collapsed. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. Glaciologists in Antarctica are concerned with the study of the history and dynamics of floating ice, seasonal snow, glaciers, and ice sheets.  The first women to step onto the South Pole were Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, Kay Lindsay and Terry Tickhill in 1969.  Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of 200 mm (7.9 in) along the coast and far less inland; there has been no rain there for almost 2 million years, yet 80% of the world freshwater reserves are stored there, enough to raise global sea levels by about 60 metres (200 ft) if all of it were to melt. The United Kingdom was the first to lay territorial claims to Antarctica in the early 1800s. It used to be ice-free until about 34 million years ago, when it became covered with ice. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by icethat averages 1.9 … How many countries in different continents? A sun dog, a frequent atmospheric optical phenomenon, is a bright "spot" beside the true sun. , In the southern hemisphere summer of 1996–97 the Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland became the first human to cross Antarctica alone from coast to coast. It was once believed that the lake had been sealed off for 500,000 to one million years, but a recent survey suggests that, every so often, there are large flows of water from one lake to another. Various factors may aid in their distribution – fairly uniform temperatures of the deep ocean at the poles and the equator which differ by no more than 5 °C, and the major current systems or marine conveyor belt which transport eggs and larval stages. Multicoloured snow algae and diatoms are especially abundant in the coastal regions during the summer. Not all vessels associated with Antarctic tourism are members of IAATO, but IAATO members account for 95% of the tourist activity. The countries of Argentina, Australia, Chile, United Kingdom, Norway, France, and New Zealand have made claims to the continent of Antarctica.  On 22 December 2012, the UK ambassador to Argentina, John Freeman, was summoned to the Argentine government as protest against the claim.  However, one critic, Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, states that this outlying study's findings "are at odds with all other independent methods: re-analysis, gravity measurements, mass budget method, and other groups using the same data" and appears to arrive at more precise values than current technology and mathematical approaches would permit. , This large collection of meteorites allows a better understanding of the abundance of meteorite types in the solar system and how meteorites relate to asteroids and comets. Models of the changes suggest that declining CO2 levels became more important. Johan Berte is the leader of the station design team and manager of the project which conducts research in climatology, glaciology and microbiology.  Eventually Antarctica was adopted as the continental name in the 1890s—the first use of the name is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. Antarctica me Kitne Mulk hn? The answer to this question we’ve already talked about, there are seven countries that claim one area each as their own, the exception being Norway which claims two territories: Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land . The original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty included seven countries with territorial claims. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent". , A single 2015 study by H. Jay Zwally et al. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. She was a daughter of Fridthjof Jacobsen, the assistant manager of the whaling station, and Klara Olette Jacobsen. The apparently simple morphology, scarcely differentiated structures, metabolic systems and enzymes still active at very low temperatures, and reduced life cycles shown by such fungi make them particularly suited to harsh environments such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Parts of this ice sheet form moving glaciers known as ice streams, which flow towards the edges of the continent. In 1969, a Japanese expedition discovered nine meteorites.  It was first recorded near the Beardmore Glacier by Frank Wild on the Nimrod Expedition, and now low-grade coal is known across many parts of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Antarctic Treaty entered into force in 1961. Read more on the Southern Ocean here. Weather fronts rarely penetrate far into the continent, leaving the centre cold and dry. The continents extremes zoomschool enchanted learning. In particular, their thick-walled and strongly melanised cells make them resistant to UV light. is the icy continent at the South Pole.  The ice began to spread, replacing the forests that until then had covered the continent. Peak Summer Pop. A major concern within this committee is the risk to Antarctica from unintentional introduction of non-native species from outside the region.  Several Antarctic ice streams, which account for about 10% of the ice sheet, flow to one of the many Antarctic ice shelves: see ice-sheet dynamics. There are a number of rivers and lakes in Antarctica, the longest river being the Onyx.  A coalition of international organisations launched a public pressure campaign to prevent any minerals development in the region, led largely by Greenpeace International, which operated its own scientific station—World Park Base—in the Ross Sea region from 1987 until 1991 and conducted annual expeditions to document environmental effects of humans on Antarctica. The three main stipulations surrounding Antarctic land use: Antarctica's goal is for minimal human-derived human impacts and for researchers to leave no trace.  The lowest natural air temperature ever recorded on Earth was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) at the Russian Vostok Station in Antarctica on 21 July 1983. The portion west of the Weddell Sea and east of the Ross Sea is called West Antarctica and the remainder East Antarctica. This effect is offset by snow falling back onto the continent. During the Nimrod Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1907, parties led by Edgeworth David became the first to climb Mount Erebus and to reach the South Magnetic Pole. Robertson Land, Wilkes Land, and Victoria Land. However, there are seven countries that claim parts of the continent, and there are many other countries that send groups of scientists and workers each year.  The only documented military land manoeuvre has been the small Operation NINETY by the Argentine military in 1965.. Does Antarctica have countries? Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until 2048 by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.  One month later, the doomed Scott Expedition reached the pole.  The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty also restricts a struggle for resources. Antarctic krill, which congregate in large schools, is the keystone species of the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean, and is an important food organism for whales, seals, leopard seals, fur seals, squid, icefish, penguins, albatrosses and many other birds. The coastline measures 17,968 km (11,165 mi) and is mostly characterised by ice formations, as the following table shows: Antarctica is divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains close to the neck between the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. During the Permian period, the land became dominated by seed plants such as Glossopteris, a pteridosperm which grew in swamps. Today, seven countries have territories on Antarctica: Countries like the United States, Peru, Russia, and South Africa have all reserved their right to claim the original Antarctic Treaty. Richard E. Byrd led several voyages to the Antarctic by plane in the 1930s and 1940s. Costing $16.3 million, the prefabricated station, which is part of the International Polar Year, was shipped to the South Pole from Belgium by the end of 2008 to monitor the health of the polar regions. Africa separated from Antarctica in the Jurassic, around 160 Ma, followed by the Indian subcontinent in the early Cretaceous (about 125 Ma). The treaty was signed by twelve countries including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and the United States.
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