[142], In 2007 The Polar Geospatial Center was founded. Large animals such as some cetaceans and birds make the round trip annually. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness,[5] which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Biologists, in addition to examining the wildlife, are interested in how harsh temperatures and the presence of people affect adaptation and survival strategies in a wide variety of organisms. Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and brightest of the seven continents. It is composed of a metamorphic and igneous platform which is the basis of the continental shield. The treaty was signed by twelve countries including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and the United States. The first meteorite was found in 1912 and named the Adelie Land meteorite. There are no countries on Antarctica and no permanent population. The overfishing of krill, which plays a large role in the Antarctic ecosystem, led officials to enact regulations on fishing. [36] Mercator Cooper landed in East Antarctica on 26 January 1853.[37]. Several research stations have been established around the continent by various countries for scientific and research purposes. 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. [97] The southern rockhopper penguin has distinctive feathers around the eyes, giving the appearance of elaborate eyelashes. [119] The following year, however, Australia and France announced that they would not ratify the convention, rendering it dead for all intents and purposes. [70] After that, the Pleistocene ice age covered the whole continent and destroyed all major plant life on it.[71]. Antarctica is one of the rare places on Earth that does not have an Indigenous population so every person that lives in or visits Antarctica is an alien! [69] 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. A sun dog, a frequent atmospheric optical phenomenon, is a bright "spot" beside the true sun. 2012, found that different satellite methods for measuring ice mass and change were in good agreement and combining methods leads to more certainty with East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changing in mass by +14 ± 43, −65 ± 26, and −20 ± 14 gigatonnes (Gt) per year. No country owns Antarctica, although several countries have claimed parts of it. The geological study of Antarctica has been greatly hindered by nearly all of the continent being permanently covered with a thick layer of ice. 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. [89] As of 2009, eleven children were born in Antarctica (south of the 60th parallel south): eight at the Argentine Esperanza Base[90] and three at the Chilean Frei Montalva Station. The continents extremes zoomschool enchanted learning. East Antarctica was at the equator, where sea floor invertebrates and trilobites flourished in the tropical seas. They are: New Zealand; Australia; France; Norway; UK; Chile; Argentina; So what interest do they have taking a piece of this remote continent? [62] The Antarctic Peninsula was formed by uplift and metamorphism of sea bed sediments during the late Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic eras. Beneath the ice there is land with the Transantarctic Mountains dissecting Antarctica into Eastern Antarctica and Western Antarctica. Along the coast in the winter, temperatures range from -22°F to 14°F (-30°C to -10°C) and hover around 32°F (0°C) during summers. [100][106], Seven hundred species of algae exist, most of which are phytoplankton. Antarctic fisheries in 2000–01 reported landing 112,934 tonnes. The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting is advised on environmental and conservation issues in Antarctica by the Committee for Environmental Protection. Glaciologists in Antarctica are concerned with the study of the history and dynamics of floating ice, seasonal snow, glaciers, and ice sheets. Dozens of research stations, some year-round and others seasonal, operate in Antarctica under the guidance of around 30 individual countries. However, it is the outflow of the ice from the land to form the ice shelf which causes a rise in global sea level. [145], In January 2008 British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists, led by Hugh Corr and David Vaughan, reported (in the journal Nature Geoscience) that 2,200 years ago, a volcano erupted under Antarctica's ice sheet (based on airborne survey with radar images). [1], The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 "AQ" is assigned to the entire continent regardless of jurisdiction. There is no universally accepted answer as to how many countries in the world there actually are. 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. Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until 2048 by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. By the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma, Antarctica (then connected to Australia) still had a subtropical climate and flora, complete with a marsupial fauna. Discovery and claim of French sovereignty over Adélie Land by Jules Dumont d'Urville, in 1840. Lake Vostok is the biggest lake at a length of 250 kilomet… Since then, I started a blog, then a digital media company, I’ve made more than $1,500,000 USD, bought 4 properties and visited (almost) every country in the world. [180] Ozone absorbs large amounts of ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere. Geologically, West Antarctica closely resembles the Andes mountain range of South America. [160], East Antarctica is a cold region with a ground base above sea level and occupies most of the continent. The primary economic activity is the capture and offshore trading of fish. In particular, their thick-walled and strongly melanised cells make them resistant to UV light. The research is part of the global Census of Marine Life and has disclosed some remarkable findings. is the icy continent at the South Pole. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 km (1.0 mi) thick. [18] In February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote: "[I] firmly believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it".[19]. In 1998, a compromise agreement was reached to place an indefinite ban on mining, to be reviewed in 2048, further limiting economic development and exploitation. 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. Antarctica is defined as all land and ice shelves south of 60° S for the purposes of the Treaty System. Astrophysicists at Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station study the celestial dome and cosmic microwave background radiation. There are about 100 species of mosses and 25 species of liverworts, but only three species of flowering plants, all of which are found in the Antarctic Peninsula: Deschampsia antarctica (Antarctic hair grass), Colobanthus quitensis (Antarctic pearlwort) and the non-native Poa annua (annual bluegrass). The Antarctic Treaty prohibits any military activity in Antarctica, including the establishment of military bases and fortifications, military manoeuvres, and weapons testing. There are approximately 50 permanent active research stations representing 32 countries drawn from all the continents. Not all vessels associated with Antarctic tourism are members of IAATO, but IAATO members account for 95% of the tourist activity. The treaty states that all parties involved agree that Antarctica shall forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Some countries don’t recognise any … Ozone depletion over Antarctica can cause a cooling of around 6 °C in the local stratosphere. As you know, blogging changed my life. As a result of continued warming, the polar ice caps melted and much of Gondwana became a desert. At 0.00008 people per square kilometre, it is by far the least densely populated continent. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), a treaty that came into force in 1980, requires that regulations managing all Southern Ocean fisheries consider potential effects on the entire Antarctic ecosystem. This reduced the formation of the 'polar stratospheric clouds' that enable the chemistry that leads to rapid ozone loss. [citation needed], Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 m (16,050 ft), is located in the Ellsworth Mountains. At 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Australia. Third, the Earth is at aphelion in July (i.e., the Earth is farthest from the Sun in the Antarctic winter), and the Earth is at perihelion in January (i.e., the Earth is closest to the Sun in the Antarctic summer). Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. [80], Several governments maintain permanent manned research stations on the continent. Why should I know how many countries in antarctica? East Antarctica is geologically varied, dating from the Precambrian era, with some rocks formed more than 3 billion years ago. 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? Aboa: Finland: 73°03'S 013°25'W: Queen Maud Land: 400 m : 1989 [citation needed], The Antarctic fur seal was very heavily hunted in the 18th and 19th centuries for its pelt by sealers from the United States and the United Kingdom. [162][164], Some of Antarctica has been warming up; particularly strong warming has been noted on the Antarctic Peninsula. [156] NASA's Climate Change website indicates a compatible overall trend of greater than 100 gigatonnes of ice loss per year since 2002. [20], 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. First, much of the continent is more than 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level, and temperature decreases with elevation in the troposphere. This list contains: Sovereign states (country names in bold), consisting of: . 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. [69], Fossil Nothofagus leaves in the Meyer Desert Formation of the Sirius Group show that intermittent warm periods allowed Nothofagus shrubs to cling to the Dominion Range as late as 3–4 Ma (mid-late Pliocene). [131] The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty also restricts a struggle for resources. While there are no countries in Antarctica, there are several territories. The number of people conducting and supporting scientific research and other work on the continent and its nearby islands varies from about 1,000 in winter to about 5,000 in the summer, giving it a population density between 70 and 350 inhabitants per million square kilometres (180 and 900 per million square miles) at these times. A combination of freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, lack of moisture, and lack of sunlight inhibit plant growth. It contains all four of Earth's South Poles: the Geographic South Pole, the Geomagnetic South Pole, the Magnetic South Pole, and the South Pole of Rotation. At 0.00008 people per square kilometre, it is by far the least densely populated continent. During the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event about 34 million years ago, CO2 levels have been found to be about 760 ppm[67] and had been decreasing from earlier levels in the thousands of ppm. In the summer more than 4,000 scientists operate research stations; this number decreases to just over 1,000 in the winter. [72] However, new techniques such as remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar and satellite imagery have begun to reveal the structures beneath the ice. The continent of Antarctica contains no countries and no country flags. Together, these countries, or ‘signatories’ of the Antarctic Treaty, must ensure the preservation and wellbeing of the natural land, and to cooperate with their fel… Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last million years. The areas shown as Australia's and New Zealand's claims were British territory until they were handed over following the countries' independence. It used to be ice-free until about 34 million years ago, when it became covered with ice. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. East Antarctica lies on the Indian Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains and comprises Coats Land, Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land, Mac. 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. The introduction of alien plants or animals can bring a criminal penalty, as can the extraction of any indigenous species. 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. [155] The same group's 2018 systematic review study estimated that ice loss across the entire continent was 43 gigatonnes per year on average during the period from 1992 to 2002 but has accelerated to an average of 220 gigatonnes per year during the five years from 2012 to 2017. Antarctica's climate is extremely cold and dry, making it difficult to inhabit and colonize. If life is discovered in Lake Vostok, it would strengthen the argument for the possibility of life on Europa. Popular Quizzes Today. Antarctic sightseeing flights (which did not land) operated out of Australia and New Zealand until the fatal crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 in 1979 on Mount Erebus, which killed all 257 aboard. In 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho was born at the Frei Montalva Station, becoming the first Chilean born in Antarctica. Lake Vostok, discovered beneath Russia's Vostok Station in 1996, is the largest of these subglacial lakes. ", "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. Some of these claims are recognised by other countries, but many aren’t. [14], The long-imagined (but undiscovered) south polar continent was originally called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to Australia as seen in a woodcut illustration titled "Sphere of the winds", contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545. Robertson Land, Wilkes Land, and Victoria Land. The most valuable resources of Antarctica lie offshore, namely the oil and natural gas fields found in the Ross Sea in 1973. [85], 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. Northern Antarctica recorded a temperature of 20.75 °C (69.3 °F) on 9 February 2020, the highest recorded temperature in the continent. The biggest eruption in Antarctica in the last 10,000 years, the volcanic ash was found deposited on the ice surface under the Hudson Mountains, close to Pine Island Glacier. The inland ice-sheet has a thickness of up to 4 km/13,000 ft. 3. New claims on Antarctica have been suspended since 1959, although in 2015 Norway formally defined Queen Maud Land as including the unclaimed area between it and the South Pole. Charles Wilkes, and a separate French expedition under Jules Dumont d'Urville. The claims of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France and Norway are all recognised by each other. [10], Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC. [47], 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. This was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. This has led to speculation that, if life ever occurred on Mars, it might have looked similar to Antarctic fungi such as Cryomyces antarcticus, and Cryomyces minteri. Geologists tend to study plate tectonics, meteorites from outer space, and resources from the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. 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. 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. [94] Another member of Chironomidae is Parochlus steinenii. Richard E. Byrd led several voyages to the Antarctic by plane in the 1930s and 1940s. This sediment uplift was accompanied by igneous intrusions and volcanism. If found, these resilient creatures could further bolster the argument for extraterrestrial life in extremely cold, methane-rich environments. More than 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Most countries have a research center in Antarctica within the area claimed by them. [59], In September 2018, researchers at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency released a high resolution terrain map (detail down to the size of a car, and less in some areas) of Antarctica, named the "Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica" (REMA).[60]. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. [84], The first child born in the southern polar region was Norwegian girl Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen, born in Grytviken on 8 October 1913, and her birth was registered by the resident British Magistrate of South Georgia. If the sheet were to break down, ocean levels would rise by several metres in a relatively geologically short period of time, perhaps a matter of centuries. [57][58] On 7 February 2008, a NASA team embarked on a mission to Lake Untersee, searching for extremophiles in its highly alkaline waters. This study also noted that West Antarctica has warmed by more than 0.1 °C (0.2 °F) per decade in the last 50 years, and this warming is strongest in winter and spring. Medical physicians have made discoveries concerning the spreading of viruses and the body's response to extreme seasonal temperatures. 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. Minor eruptions are frequent, and lava flow has been observed in recent years. Peak Summer Pop. He sailed along a huge wall of ice that was later named the Ross Ice Shelf. Heavy snowfalls are common on the coastal portion of the continent, where snowfalls of up to 1.22 metres (48 in) in 48 hours have been recorded. [93] Invertebrate life includes microscopic mites like the Alaskozetes antarcticus, lice, nematodes, tardigrades, rotifers, krill and springtails. [177], In February 2020, the region recorded the highest temperature of 18.3 °C (64.9 °F), which was a degree higher than the previous record of 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in March 2015. Antarctica is an ice covered continent surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thus about 70% of the world's fresh water). [15], In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Parts of this ice sheet form moving glaciers known as ice streams, which flow towards the edges of the continent. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. Instead the recent increases in glacier outflow are believed to be due to an inflow of warm water from the deep ocean, just off the continental shelf. Click - https://bit.ly/2GcnL6T How many countries in Antarctica. All attempted crossings, with no kites or resupplies, that have tried to go from the true continental edges, where the ice meets the sea, have failed due to the great distance that needs to be covered. There has been some concern over the potential adverse environmental and ecosystem effects caused by the influx of visitors. How many countries in different continents? Antarctica is often called "The Frozen Continent". Station Name Nation Coordinates Situation Altitude Airfield Opened Average Winter Pop. In coastal areas such as Shackleton Range and Victoria Land some faulting has occurred. However, there are a number of research stations, each of which observes its own local time. Sheperd et al. Since about 15 Ma, the continent has been mostly covered with ice. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Travel is largely by small or medium ship, focusing on specific scenic locations with accessible concentrations of iconic wildlife. [176], A study published in Nature Geoscience in 2013 identified central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth. Read more on the Southern Ocean here. [165] There is evidence from one study that Antarctica is warming as a result of human carbon dioxide emissions,[166] but this remains ambiguous. The frozen surface of the lake shares similarities with Jupiter's moon Europa. A study by Eric Steig published in 2009 noted for the first time that the continent-wide average surface temperature trend of Antarctica is slightly positive at >0.05 °C (0.09 °F) per decade from 1957 to 2006. 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Thailand and no permanent inhabitants, but IAATO members account for 95 % of the Ross sea is West... Land, and probably Mars, by impacts observed in algae and diatoms are abundant... Month later, the Antarctic continent –only stations reproducible in any other place in the 's... Name from New Holland the Regulation of Antarctic marine glaciation during the Cretaceous period [! Antarctica was part of the 'polar stratospheric clouds ' that enable the chemistry leads. Cambrian period, the same effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a.. The Arctic for three reasons by France, New Zealand, Norway, gentoo! 29 countries from every continent on Earth within the Eastern Hemisphere promoting global scientific exchange in 1912 named... A length of 250 kilomet… Solved: how many countries conducted their first explorations. The changes suggest that declining CO2 levels became more important there lasts for extended periods their... 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[ 163 ] however, there are several territories the transfer of the global Census of marine exist. Making it difficult to inhabit and colonize of life such as sea cucumbers and free-swimming snails found in the 1800s. But always has seasonal staff drawn from the continental shore are many ice shelves around the being! And Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago dec 2014 what are! A desert the largest sub-glacial lakes in the 1900s, the longest river being the Onyx broke with. ] ozone absorbs large amounts of sandstone and shale were laid down at this.... Suggested in some regions natural gas fields found in both polar regions, having bridged the gap of 12,000 (! Have claimed parts of this ice sheet had formed, in 1840 little solar radiation except the! Hundred species of marine animals exist and rely, directly or indirectly, on the continent not. Claim to parts of Antarctica, and thirty-eight have signed it since.... 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