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    Antarctica Glacier

    Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, emptiest, coldest place on earth. Based on rainfall it is a desert.

    The ice sheet covers 14 million square kilometers or 99.6% of Antarctica. Plant life? A few lichen and mosses.

    At its thickest point the ice sheet is 4,776 meters deep.

    To the right is a closeup of some of that ice sheet in the form of a glacier calving into the Southern Sea.

     

Glacier

Elephant Island


Animal Life?

There are lots of penguins, whales, seals, krill (the main food for whales), and even fish in Antarctica's Southern Ocean waters.

There are no land mammals and no native peoples.

Eskimos and polar bears are only found in the northern Arctic.

To the left is a view of the mountains on Elephant Island.


    Real Cold

    The mean annual temperature at the South Pole is minus 56 degrees F.

    During the Summer, at the South Pole, at the Amundsen-Scott station, temperatures may reach 0 degrees F.

    The area below 60 degrees south enjoys one long day and one long night each year. Year around it is either day or it is night. The sun sets in March and rises in October.

Esperanza

Esperanza Station


Esperanza Station

The Argentine Base Esperanza is located in Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula.

Experanza is Spanish for Hope.

The Base gained fame as the birthplace of Emilio Marcos Palma, the first person to be born in Antarctica.

The Base has tourist facilities that are visited by about 1,000 tourists each year.


Ice Bergs

When approaching Antarctica it is a good idea to have an ice pilot aboard. These bergs look benign. The part we see is as big as a house. 90% more of these bergs is below the water surface.

Winter increases the ice by 40,000 square miles per day, and eventually doubles the size of Antarctica. That's one and a half USA's, two Australia's or 50 UK's worth of ice area that forms, then breaks up and melts each year.

90 percent of all the world's ice and it is 70 percent of all the world's fresh water resides in Antarctica.

Bergs

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