The continent of Antarctica and countries that claim its vast territories as become a source of modern worries to many around the world especially environmentalist who fear that the continent may be a dumping ground for most hazardous waste. But what is really big about the continent of Antarctica and which countries lay claims to its territories. Here this site will give you these simple facts in straight details.
The continent of Antarctica is located in the southern hemisphere. It sits in what is known as the Antarctic convergence, which is where the cold, north-bound Antarctic waters meet the warmer ocean water. Antarctica contains no countries or permanent residents but nearly 4,000 people visit this rich continent annually. The continent is protected from activities such as mineral mining, military activities and nuclear waste disposal and testing through the Antarctic Treaty of 1959The Treaty has been signed by a number of nations which support the scientific exploration and study on Antarctica.
Countries That Lay Claims To The Continent Of Antarctica
Though no nation lay claim to the continent but many have built research stations in the continent. As many 10 countries have stakes in the continent and has already divided the continent among themselves. National Geographic suggests that Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom presently claim parts of the continent. Additionally, Australia, Georgia, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom claim the island territories within the Convergence that surround Antarctica.
About The Continent Antarctica
Antarctica is the southernmost part of the earth. It is the opposite of the Arctic North. It is the fifth largest continent and situated at the southern hemisphere. It is nearly twice the size of Australia of which 98% of its land is covered by ice that average 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The continent is the coldest, driest, windiest of all earths’ continents and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. You can call Antarctica a desert continent because its annual precipitation is just 200mm along the coast and far less inland.
As of 2016, there are about 135 permanent residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms like the algae, fungi, bacteria exist on the continents while you may believe it that animal such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals exist here in abundance. If any vegetation ever existed in the continue, then it is the tundra type.
Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctica Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent’s ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.
Antarctica Vs the Arctic
The Arctic region is the North Pole land above Canada, Iceland, Europe and Russia. It is also vast in nature and cold too compare to other regions. Antarctica is colder than the Arctic for three reasons.
-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.
-Second, the Arctic Ocean covers the north polar zone: the ocean’s relative warmth is transferred through the ice pack and prevents temperatures in the Arctic regions from reaching the extremes typical of the land surface of Antarctica.
-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). The orbital distance contributes to a colder Antarctic winter (and a warmer Antarctic summer) but the first two effects have more impact
Do you know that Richard E. Byrd led several voyages to the Antarctic by plane in the 1930s and 1940s. He is credited with implementing mechanized land transport on the continent and conducting extensive geological and biological research. The first women to step foot on Antarctica did so in the 1930s with Caroline Mikkelsen landing on an island of Antarctica in 1935, and Ingrid Christensen stepping onto the mainland in 1937.
It was not until 31 October 1956 that anyone set foot on the South Pole again; on that day a U.S. Navy group led by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek successfully landed an aircraft there. The first women to step onto the South Pole were Pam Young, Jean Pearson,Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, Kay Lindsay and Terry Tickhill in 1969.
The first person to sail single-handed to Antarctica was the New Zealander David Henry Lewis, in 1972, in the 10-metre steel sloop Ice Bird. so would you not consider visiting this Great continent…cheers