Antarctica

Article

July 6, 2022

Antarctica (南極, English: Antarctica) is the southernmost continent on Earth, with the South Pole in the middle. Antarctica is mostly located south of the Antarctic Circle, with the Antarctic Earth and Antarctic Ocean surrounding it. With an area of ​​about 14 million km2, it is the fourth largest continent in the world after Asia, America and Africa. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice (only about 280,000 km2 is not covered by ice), which averages 1.6 km thick. Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. On July 21, 1983, a temperature of -89.2°C was recorded at the Soviet base in Vostok, Antarctica. Antarctica is also the highest continent of all continents. Antarctica is also the largest desert on Earth, with only 200 millimeters of precipitation on the coast and even less inland. There are no human settlements here, but 4,000 people in summer and 1,000 people in winter live in research bases scattered across the continent. Only plants and animals adapted to the cold live in Antarctica, which includes penguins, seals, lichen plants, and several types of algae. Antarctica, the English name for Antarctica, is derived from the feminine form of the ancient Greek compound ανταρκτικός (ανταρκτικός), which means “opposite of the North Pole.” There have been myths and speculations about the southern land (Terra Australis) since ancient times, but it is said that the first time humans saw Antarctica with certainty was in 1820 during a Russian expedition by Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlief von Bellingshausen. However, in the 19th century after its discovery, Antarctica's hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolated location made the continent largely ignored by people. Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew was the first to officially name the continent "Antarctica" in the 1890s. The Antarctic Treaty was first signed by 12 countries in 1959, and 46 countries have signed it so far. The treaty prohibits military action and mining of mineral resources, while supporting scientific research and preserving the continent's ecological environment. Currently, more than 1,000 scientists from different countries are conducting various experiments. Norway, New Zealand, Argentina, England, Australia, Chile and France claim parts of Antarctica as their territory, although declarations of sovereignty are prohibited under the Antarctic Treaty. are doing Antarctica is not under the sovereignty of any state and is administered by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some argue that parts of Antarctica are melting because of global warming. The South Pole is the point where all the meridians meet, and if time is measured like other countries, it may change by one hour for each step. In the case of Antarctica, the time may be meaningless due to the white and black nights where the sun rises and sets once a year, but UTC/GMT+12 is used for convenience near the South Pole, which is 3 hours earlier than Korea and Japan. In addition, most of the Antarctic bases, except for the Amundsen-Scott base, are located on the outskirts of Antarctica, so time is measured based on the meridian where each base is located.

History of Antarctica

Antarctica was uninhabited, and Antarctica was not discovered until the 18th century. Exploration of Antarctica, the last unknown continent left on Earth, began in the 18th century.

Geography of Antarctica

Most of it is covered with ice, but there are places where there is no ice in some areas close to the South Pole.