Antarctic Desert - Largest Desert Area on Earth
Nature creation - Earth Desert ::-- 1.Antarctic - Desert|| 2.Sahara - Desert|| 3.Arctic - Desert|| 4.Arabian - Desert|| 5.Gobi - Desert|| 6.Kalahari - Desert|| 7.Patagonian - Desert|| 8.Victoria - Desert|| 9.Syrian - Desert|| 10.Great Basin - Desert|| Desert List||
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, encapsulating the South Pole. It 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 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1.6 kilometres in thickness.
Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89 °C . There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted organisms survive there, including many types of algae, animals (for example mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades), bacteria, fungi, plants, and protista. Vegetation where it occurs is tundra.
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. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 countries; to date, 47 countries have signed the treaty. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear blasts and power, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists of many nationalities and with various research interests.
Antarctica is divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains close to the neck between the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. The portion west of the Weddell Sea and east of the Ross Sea is called West Antarctica and the remainder East Antarctica, because they roughly correspond to the Western and Eastern Hemispheres relative to the Greenwich meridian.
About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 km thick. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thereby about 70% of the world's fresh water). If all of this ice were melted, sea levels would rise about 60 m . In most of the interior of the continent, precipitation is very low, down to 20 mm per year; in a few "blue ice" areas precipitation is lower than mass loss by sublimation and so the local mass balance is negative. In the dry valleys the same effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a desiccated landscape.
West Antarctica is covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The sheet has been of recent concern because of the real, if small, possibility of its collapse. 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. Several Antarctic ice streams, which account for about 10% of the ice sheet, flow to one of the many Antarctic ice shelves.
Antarctica is a continent of ice. To the south of this dry continent is the Antarctic Desert. The Antarctic Desert is a desert because there has been no rainfall or snow there for over 100 years, this makes the Antarctic Desert the driest desert in the world. Antarctica is only 98% covered in ice the other 2 percent is rock. The Antarctic desert reaches 14 million sq km. Antarctica is twice the size of Australia, half the size of the US, and 50x the size of the UK. The coastline of Antarctica reaches 17,968 km. Antarctica is so cold that only 4% of the ice melts in spring. In Antarctica there are no land boundaries.
ANIMALS AND PLANTS
There are no land based animals or plants in the Antarctic desert, witch means all the animals and plants in the Antarctic Desert can be in and out of water. In this bare Antarctic Desert there are animals such as the Polar Bear, Southern Elephant seal, Albatross, Seals (6 species), King Penguin, Whales and Birds (12 species). There are also such plants as moss, Lichen, Algae there are approximately 350 species of these plants.
The normal temperature is about -89.2°C to about -93.4°C.
There is no long name for Antarctica, so we just call it Antarctica. In Antarctica there are all the normal laws apply. There is also another law called the Antarctic Conservation Act. This applies to everyone except people who are authorized. This law states that if you are not authorized and you take a animal or bird that is native, or if you introduce non-indigenous plants and/or animals, or if you trespass on specially protected areas, or you dispose of of pollutants you can get a penalty of up to $10,000 and 1 years in prison. So don't do it.
There are 28 Airports in Antarctica. There are also 37 Heliports in Antarctica.
There are no main telephone lines in use. There are also no mobile lines. There are local telephone lines. There are radio AM NA, FM 2. There is 1 television cable system with only 6 channels.