The emperor penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica; it and the Adélie penguin breed farther south than any other penguin. Mount Erebus on Ross Island is the world's southernmost active volcano. Antarctica is the driest continent of the seven continents. Northern Antarctica recorded a temperature of 20.75 °C (69.3 °F) on 9 February 2020, the highest recorded temperature in the continent. [1] McMurdo Station, which is the largest research station in Antarctica, is capable of housing more than 1,000 scientists, visitors, and tourists. This hole covers almost the whole continent and was at its largest in September 2008, when the longest lasting hole on record remained until the end of December. The sheet has been of recent concern because of the small possibility of its collapse. A major concern within this committee is the risk to Antarctica from unintentional introduction of non-native species from outside the region. On the continent itself, the large volume of ice present stores around 70% of the world's fresh water. Travel is largely by small or medium ship, focusing on specific scenic locations with accessible concentrations of iconic wildlife. Towards the end of the Permian period, continued warming led to a dry, hot climate over much of Gondwana.[62]. [132], Small-scale "expedition tourism" has existed since 1957 and is currently subject to Antarctic Treaty and Environmental Protocol provisions, but in effect self-regulated by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). Minor eruptions are frequent, and lava flow has been observed in recent years. On 18 December 2012, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office named a previously unnamed area Queen Elizabeth Land in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. [1], Although coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, gold and other minerals have been found, they have not been in large enough quantities to exploit. In particular, their thick-walled and strongly melanised cells make them resistant to UV light. [82][83], The first semi-permanent inhabitants of regions near Antarctica (areas situated south of the Antarctic Convergence) were British and American sealers who used to spend a year or more on South Georgia, from 1786 onward. [72] However, new techniques such as remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar and satellite imagery have begun to reveal the structures beneath the ice. The cooling of Antarctica occurred stepwise, as the continental spread changed the oceanic currents from longitudinal equator-to-pole temperature-equalising currents to latitudinal currents that preserved and accentuated latitude temperature differences. Qantas resumed commercial overflights to Antarctica from Australia in the mid-1990s. In the summer more than 4,000 scientists operate research stations; this number decreases to just over 1,000 in the winter. 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. [113] It set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation and environmental protection, and banned military activity on Antarctica. By 1959, 12 countries came together to create the 1959 Antarctica Treaty: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States. 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. 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! They proposed instead that a comprehensive regime to protect the Antarctic environment be negotiated in its place. Many countries have scientific research stations on Antarctica. Several bases are now home to families with children attending schools at the station. Managers and other senior officers of the whaling stations often lived together with their families. Over time these swamps became deposits of coal in the Transantarctic Mountains. 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. This was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. At the edge of the continent, strong katabatic winds off the polar plateau often blow at storm force. In 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho was born at the Frei Montalva Station, becoming the first Chilean born in Antarctica. Since Antarctica is largely uninhabited, the continent is not officially divided up into time zones. [100][101] Some of these species are cryptoendoliths as a result of evolution under extreme conditions, and have significantly contributed to shaping the impressive rock formations of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and surrounding mountain ridges. In January 1840, terra firma at Antarctica was discovered for the first time, almost simultaneously, by the United States Exploring Expedition, under Lieut. A total of 37,506 tourists visited during the 2006–07 Austral summer with nearly all of them coming from commercial ships; 38,478 were recorded in 2015–16. Mount Erebus and Mount Terror are named after two ships from his expedition: HMS Erebus and Terror. Multicoloured snow algae and diatoms are especially abundant in the coastal regions during the summer. Parts of this ice sheet form moving glaciers known as ice streams, which flow towards the edges of the continent. [99], About 1,150 species of fungi have been recorded from Antarctica, of which about 750 are non-lichen-forming and 400 are lichen-forming. Escaping the city is one of the chief reasons outdoor adventurers take flight to the world’s remote locations. She was a daughter of Fridthjof Jacobsen, the assistant manager of the whaling station, and Klara Olette Jacobsen. [16] 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. [81], The aurora australis, commonly known as the southern lights, is a glow observed in the night sky near the South Pole created by the plasma-full solar winds that pass by the Earth. [168][169] The net contribution to sea level from the Antarctic Peninsula is more likely to be a direct result of the much greater atmospheric warming there. Geologists tend to study plate tectonics, meteorites from outer space, and resources from the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last million years. [1], The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 "AQ" is assigned to the entire continent regardless of jurisdiction. Endemic Antarctic fungi also include certain dung-inhabiting species which have had to evolve in response to the double challenge of extreme cold while growing on dung, and the need to survive passage through the gut of warm-blooded animals. Aboa: Finland: 73°03'S 013°25'W: Queen Maud Land: 400 m : 1989 No country owns Antarctica, although several countries have claimed parts of it. [103], About 300 million years ago Permian forests started to cover the continent, and tundra vegetation survived as late as 15 million years ago,[104] but the climate of present-day Antarctica does not allow extensive vegetation to form. [118] In 1988, the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources (CRAMRA) was adopted. 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… Antarctica was not always cold, dry, and covered in ice sheets. In Eastern Antarctica, seed ferns or pteridosperms became abundant and large amounts of sandstone and shale were laid down at this time. Johan Berte is the leader of the station design team and manager of the project which conducts research in climatology, glaciology and microbiology. [95] The snow petrel is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica. [171] Between 28 February and 8 March 2008, about 570 km2 (220 sq mi) of ice from the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the southwest part of the peninsula collapsed, putting the remaining 15,000 km2 (5,800 sq mi) of the ice shelf at risk. King penguins, chinstrap penguins, and gentoo penguins also breed in the Antarctic. ", Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, "The Foreign Secretary has announced that the southern part of British Antarctic Territory has been named Queen Elizabeth Land", "Argentina angry after Antarctic territory named after Queen", "Final Report, 30th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting", "2015–2016 Tourists by Nationality Total", "The World's Loneliest ATM is in Antarctica", "Private Issues – The Antarctica Issues and the NORFED Issues", "Adelie Penguins thriving amid Antarctica's melting ice", "NASA and NOAA Announce Ozone Hole is a Double Record Breaker", "Polar Geospatial Center Releases New Application with High-Res Satellite Imagery", "East Antarctic deglaciation and the link to global cooling during the Quaternary: evidence from glacial geomorphology and 10Be surface exposure dating of the Sør Rondane Mountains, Dronning Maud Land", "Big Bang in Antarctica—Killer Crater Found Under Ice", "Antarctic scientists find 18 kg meteorite", "Regional changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice", "All About Sea Ice: Characteristics: Arctic vs. Antarctic", "Accelerated ice discharge from the Antarctic Peninsula following the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf", "Facts / Vital signs / Ice Sheets / Antarctica Mass Variation Since 2002", "A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance", "Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017", "Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses", "Study concludes Antarctica is gaining ice, rather than losing it", "A 40-y record reveals gradual Antarctic sea ice increases followed by decreases at rates far exceeding the rates seen in the Arctic", "Recent Antarctic ice mass loss from radar interferometry and regional climate modelling", A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance, "Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year", "Attribution of polar warming to human influence", "Modelling Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, Antarctica", "Widespread acceleration of tidewater glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula", "Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Blamed on More Than Climate Change", "Ice Bridge Holding Antarctic Shelf in Place Shatters", "Antarctica appears to have broken a heat record", "Non-annular atmospheric circulation change induced by stratospheric ozone depletion and its role in the recent increase of Antarctic sea ice extent", British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012, Antarctica and New Zealand (NZHistory.net.nz), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Antarctica&oldid=999319496, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Geographical articles missing image alternative text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Ice stream/outlet glacier (ice front or ice wall), 044°38′E to 136°11′E, and 142°02′E to 160°00′E, 80°00′W to 74°00′W claimed by Chile (1940), 74°00′W to 53°00′W claimed by Chile (1940) and Argentina (1943), 53°00′W to 25°00′W claimed by Argentina (1943), 90°00′W to 74°00′W claimed by the United Kingdom (1908), 74°00′W to 53°00′W claimed by the United Kingdom (1908) and Argentina (1943), 74°00′W to 53°00′W claimed by the United Kingdom (1908) and Chile (1940), 53°00′W to 25°00′W claimed by the United Kingdom (1908), Listen to Ernest Shackleton describing his 1908, This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 16:02. 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