Antarctica without ice
If the ice melts, the surface level will be even higher due to the lack of pressure of the ice masses.
The Continent Of Antarctica
The coldest continent on our planet is Antarctica. Antarctica is also called part of the world of the planet, which includes the mainland and the surrounding Islands. In this article, we consider Antarctica as a continent. The Russian expedition discovered this continent in January 1820. The continent is located in the South of the planet. Translated from the Greek Antarctica means “opposite the Arctic” or “opposite the North.” Approximately the center of the continent accounts for the location of the South pole of the Earth. The continent is washed by the southern part of the waters of the three oceans: the Pacific ocean, the Atlantic ocean, and the Indian Ocean, since 2000, this area of water has become known as the Southern Ocean. The southern ocean is characterized by strong winds and storms.
The area of this continent is approximately 14,107 million km2. Its high elevation (2040 m) Antarctica takes the first place among the continents. The only thing to consider is that this height is achieved thanks to glaciers, the land of this continent is much lower than this figure. Therefore, the first place in the height of the land is given to the mainland Eurasia. And in the Central part of the ice cover can reach more than 4 000 meters high. If you compare the amount of ice in Antarctica with the ice reserves on the planet, Antarctica contains 90 % of the planet’s ice reserves. Also in these Ice is stored 80 % of the total supply of fresh water on the planet. If all the glaciers of the continent melt, it will lead to an increase in the water level in all the oceans by 60 meters, and Antarctica itself will become an archipelago (cluster of Islands).
Relief Of Antarctica
The structure of the continent of Antarctica resembles a dome. Near the coast, the height of the mainland reaches about 2000 m above sea level, and in the Central part can reach more than 4000 m above sea level. Therefore, it turns out a kind of dome.
Most of the continent is covered with permanent glacial cover and only 0.3 % of its territory rises above the ice, which is about 40 000 m2. These areas include Islands, coastal areas and mountain peaks. On the territory of the continent there are Transantarctic mountains that almost completely cross the entire continent and thus divide it into two different parts, which are called the Eastern and Western parts.
the continent of Antarctica
In the East of Antarctica is a plateau, which is covered with glaciers and the level of glaciers here reaches the highest heights – more than 4000 meters above sea level. The Western part of the continent consists more of the mountainous Islands. In Antarctica, the highest point above sea level is the Vinson massif (4,892 m), and the lowest point below sea level is the Bentley basin (2,555 m below sea level), which is covered by ice.
Through research, scientists have found that Antarctica 1/3 submerged underwater, where you can select mountain ranges and massifs.
In studies of the ice cover of the continent, scientists have found a huge crater with a diameter of 482 km. it is Believed that the asteroid that left this crater was a diameter of 48 km and that it fell to the Earth about 250 million years ago, that is, was the culprit of centuries of permafrost and the cause of death of most of the flora and fauna of that period. Today it is the largest crater on the planet Earth.
The Climate Of Antarctica
Mainland Antarctica is characterized by a harsh cold climate. It was here that the lowest temperature in history was recorded – 89.2 degrees below zero in 1983. Weather conditions in the center of the continent and on its outskirts are very different. If in the center of the continent of Antarctica can be windless and the blue sky to Shine bright Sun, the coast of the continent can be covered with storms. The wind can here rise up to 90 m/s, sweeping away everything in its path. Waves can reach 20 meters in height.
The weather on the continent is changing as the season’s change. The winter months are June, July, and August. During these months, the temperature can drop from -60 to -75 degrees Celsius below zero in the Central part and from -8 to -35 degrees Celsius below zero on the coast of the mainland. The summer months are December, January, and February. During these months, the continent gets a little warmer, and temperatures rise from -30 to -50 degrees below zero in the Central part and from -5 to 0 degrees Celsius on the coast. Based on the temperature, there is almost never rain – only snow.
Another characteristic feature of weather conditions in Antarctica is strong and continuous winds, which can reach up to 90 meters per second. This is due to the domed structure of the continent. From April to November, the winds in Antarctica blow almost the whole day without stopping. From November to March, the winds can blow at night, and during the day due to the heating of the upper layer, the winds can subside.
Flora and fauna of Antarctica
Given the particularly harsh cold climate of the continent, the diversity of animals and plants leaves much to be desired.
From plants in Antarctica grow ferns, algae (in oases), mushrooms, lichens, flowering. Of the animals on the coast of the continent can be found seals and penguins. More animals can be found in the coastal strip. From underground animals – these arachnids and insects. Also live seals, seals, birds, penguins. Fully land animals in the Antarctic do not exist. The main decoration of the coast of Antarctica is penguins.
climate of Antarctica
There are no educated States in Antarctica, and it does not belong to anyone. But 16 countries have built their bases here and are studying this continent.