Antarctic is a continent located on the South Pole. It is situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66° 33′ 39″ (or 66.56083°) south of the equator. Surrounding it are waters of the Southern Ocean.
Antarctic is the coldest place on Earth. Around 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which on average is around 1.6 km (1.0 mi) thick.
Antarctica contains around 70% of Earth’s fresh water in that ice.
Antarctic experiences a period of continuous daylight, and a period of continuous night time. They last for 6 months each.
Beside permanent research stations throughout the Antarctica, there is no permanent residents on the continent. The number of people conducting research and other work varies throughout the year and it numbers up to few thousand.
History of Antarctica
In the 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed by twelve countries; Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, then the Soviet Union – today Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Articles of the Antarctic Treaty say that; “area is 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. Freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation shall continue. Free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies. Does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial sovereignty claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force”…
More on the subject online:
- Opposite to the Antarctica and South Pole is Arctic, located on the North Pole and surrounded by the Arctic Ocean.
- The coldest temperature on Earth was measured on Antarctica; -89 °C or -129 °F.