Antarctica is an uninhabited continent dedicated to science and governed by The Antarctic Treaty. As questions about the highest, driest, windiest, iciest, darkest continent on earth.

17,342 Questions

What is the maximum temperature in Antarctica and when does it occur?

Don't Be Silly!

Global Warming
Climatology and Climate Changes

How is climate change affecting Antarctica?

Antarctica is the coldest place on our planet, far colder than the Arctic, so changes from global warming will be slower to happen and difficult to measure.

However, there are changes happening. Ice is melting at the edges and snow is building up in the centre!

Warmer air means more moisture in the atmosphere, and this is falling as snow on the centre of the continent. This snow doesn't melt, but builds up as ice.

Approximately 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice melts in Antarctica every year (NASA's Grace satellite).

East Antarctica is a high, cold, desert plateau. Satellite data show a little mass loss at the edges, but this is counterbalanced by a buildup of snow in the centre. Not much is happening in East Antarctica.

West Antarctica is a series of islands covered with ice, with most of the ice resting on the floor of the ocean (1.7 km or more than 1 mile below sea level in places). The 'grounding line' is where the front of the glacier touches the sea bed. These grounding lines are retreating, which means that the glaciers are losing mass. When this happens, when the underwater part of the glacier melts, the top becomes an ice shelf. An ice shelf is very vulnerable to a warming ocean and the Antarctic ice shelves have been collapsing.

In 2002 the Larsen-B ice shelf (the size of Rhode Island) collapsed and was caught on satellite cameras. The 12,000-year-old ice shelf crumbled in three weeks. After the collapse, the glaciers behind the ice shelf sped up their movement into the ocean.

NASA's satellite measurements show that Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The rate of melting is also speeding up.

Oceans and Seas

What are Antarctica's landforms?

The Hilpanay Mountains, Plapanop Iceberg and Ginger Valley

Environmental Issues
Climatology and Climate Changes

Why is the Antarctica a unique environment?

The Antarctic environment is unique on the planet. It is not only the coldest, driest, windiest, highest and most uninhabited continent on earth, but it is also home to some of the most amazing animals. It is exactly this fascinating environment that allows these creatures to thrive. Without this fragile environment the entire food chain from plankton and krill to whales would be affected.


Why do people want to own Antarctica?

It's simple, really. Many countries want the minerals that are found underneath the surface, others may want to buy the land off other countries to either conserve the environment or to study further. Also, Antarctica is like a mini Disneyland with more than 45,000 people visiting the continent in the 2007/08 season, so another reason would be because it's a tourist attraction you would also get a lot of money from it.


Why is there very little rainfall in Antarctica?

The air is to cold for rain, it causes rain to come down as snow instead.


Why do people visit Antarctica?

There are many reasons why people visit Antarctica, and extreme tourism is the primary reason. People want to see its beauty, because it is a big place to go and one probably goes there once in a lifetime.

People live and work in Antarctica on a temporary basis in pursuit of scientific research for the health of planet earth.


Why would development in Antarctica be good?

because it creates jobs and money for people!


What does the shape of Antarctica look like?

You can view the outline of Antarctica, below.


Where does The Thing take place?


Rain and Flooding

How much rain falls in Antarctica?

Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth, an average of less than 150mm (15cm) of precipitation falls per year. Antarctica is a desert, and it does not rain.


Are there any citizens of Antarctica?

No, Antarctica is not a country itself, but some territory is claimed by countries such as Australia, Britain, Argentina, Chile, etc. Some claims overlap each other. No existing claim is valid nor are new claims allowed per the Antarctic Treaty, signed in the 1960s.

So you could not be a citizen of Antarctica.


Why does it stay dark in the arctic for 6 months?

I think because the arctic is in the opposite direction of the sun. (Like the sun is north and the arctic is south.)


What are the five points of the antarctic treaty?

There are actually twelve articles to the Antarctic Treaty:

Article 1 - area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing is prohibited, but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose.

Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigations and cooperation shall continue.

Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies.

Article 4 - the treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force.

Article 5 - prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes.

Article 6 - includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves but not the surrounding waters south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south.

Article 7 - treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all activities and of the introduction of military personnel must be given.

Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states.

Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings to take place among member nations.

Article 10 - treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty.

Article 11 - disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the International Court of Justice.

Articles 12, 13, 14 - deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations.


What is the importance of mining in antarctica?

Under the Antarctic Treaty, there can be no mining or mineral exploration in the Antarctic. The only commercial activity allowed in the region is that of tourism, and then only if it has no effect on the environment.

Botany or Plant Biology

Which continent has the fewest flowering plants?

Antarctica is the continent that has the fewest flowering plants.


How is the study of Antarctica useful to us?

The study of Antarctica is useful tous because the more we know about antarctica, the better we can protect it. We can also look for new species of plants and animals


Why do countries want to take fish from Antarctica?

Because theres many fishes there

Orcas (killer whales)

What helps the killer whale survive Antarctica?

It has a 3 cm (about 1 inch) of blubber, on its body. It has more nearer to the center of its body, keeping the killer whale warm, and protecting the organs from attack.


Who was the first person born in Antarctica in 1978?

The first person born on the Antarctic continent was Emilio Marcos Palma, born on January 7, 1978 to Argentine parents. Emilio weighed 7½ pounds (3.4 kg) when born in Fortín Sargento Cabral, Hope Bay, at the Esperanza Base near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula. His father, Captain Jorge Emilio Palma, was head of the Argentine army detachment at the base.


A continent without any countries?

Antarctica. Several countries lay claims to it, but no one can actually settle there for their life. You can go for months at a time if you are a researcher and probably if you are rich, but that's about it.

Oceans and Seas

What landforms are in Antarctica?

On planet earth, there are several categories of landforms, including Valleys, Plateaus, Mountains, Plains, Hills, Loess and Glaciers.

You can find them all in Antarctica with the exception of Loess.

In addition, about 98% of the continent is covered in frozen, fresh water ice.
there are many land forms in Antarctica including Vinson massif, Mount tyree, Mount Shinn, Mount Craddick and Mount Epperlypooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oceans and Seas

What ocean is just above Antarctica?

The seas around Antarctica are now generally referred to as the "Southern Ocean" whereas previously they were assigned to the southern regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean. However, the exact delineations of this ocean are not consistently defined.


How arid is antarctica?

Antarctica is the driest continent on earth, with an average humidity of less than five percent. It is also the driest desert on earth.


Is Antarctica a desert?

Yes. Antarctica is a dry polar region with about five percent humidity, no liquid lakes or rivers, it is the driest continent on earth.

The interior of Antarctica is considered the world's driest desert because the extreme cold freezes water vapour out of the air. Annual snowfall on the polar plateau is equivalent to less than 5 cm of rain.


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