Antarctica
Antarctica.svg.pngAntarctica is going to be rebuilt as a continent and Super civilization.It is going to have modernization.It through time travelling will be built up to 100 million Zarconian.Robotech will have bases on Antarctica.The cities will have police and military.Cities will have parks and parks will have types of reactors just purpose of parks,steam and heating seasons.Antarctica will be Space travelling from the airport.It will have subdivisions and urban suburban.It will have malls,stores,everything North America has and better.It is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll1seZzlF0o
Remodified Antarctica with Greenland
Added by Queen Armada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBG7P-K-r1Y
Antarctic city
Added by Queen Armada http://zarconian.wikia.com/wiki/File:KusoCartoon_14951485163311_.jpg
going to be fortified.For outer space as a place that is a military civilization in outer space.It will have better than a planet.The towns and cities will have metro and Transit,subways.Connect all of Antarctica by trains and metro space systems. Highways and roads,streets. http://principalityofwestantarctic.com/westantarctic/principality-facts.html All of the North America companies and masonry are Antarctican.Antarctica will have the rule of space vehicles as we need a continent to take out our veritech beings for space airshow and to surface airshow in harbour and park built with military.It will have masonry and concrete built as Transformers Gobot Universe my pole continent of Queen Armada will pick Antarctica to build and fund the country into its government under us.It will represent earth and Princess Armada will be there in visiting Antarctica.It will have digging done and thawing with construction crews.Built for the buildings to form a shield to block off high winds.It will make a calm area.Thawing out of snow and digging it and having snow removal. http://www.precisiongroup.ca/about-us.html Space snow removal done and construction http://www.pcl.com/Pages/default.aspx companies.Works with all tractors,jack hammers and construction cranes.Trucks and concrete mixers.Construction material from space.Antarctica will have all of its parks uncovered and to get into hot springs and thermo water.Heated water underground permanent and reactors built.Underground piped hot gases and steam.It will from modernization make the above surface hotter and parks and planting trees http://www.forestryusa.com/professional_associations.html to make woods and parks.Types of trees that grow in Arctic weather.Decorate parks and woods.Industry and corporations. http://www.na.com/corp/ will be built from space on earth.Lighted up with industrial parks use of the land.Roads and streets and a booming civilization of space on earth.Antarctica as Greenland will be Transformers Gobot Zarconian Universe based on earth.It is meant to control earth and make laws on earth.Its meant for domination over earth.This place will be space traveling and have defenses.It will grow as a world power and Superpower.It is going to be grown by Zarconian as our civilization.This is Zarconian colony on earth.It will have all of the things like North America and tribal Pacific.All built in and made to enterprise Antarctica.It will grow as this is how I'll get Transformers Gobot Universe white race to interact with Earth and North Atlantic.We will have stores and shopping centers and goods.Booming for aliens to try out and keep.All of the corporations and for Antarctica to catch up tribally in modern times.They will have a run at modern civilization but from space.Earthers.We will install our laws at the airports and ship ports developed.Overseas developed.We will have better than North America having from Pacific and Atlantic.This is our colony.It will add our share on earth's technology.We will have restoration from past decades which earth is based on past.Past and all the way back in centuries in tv.TV and media and technology.Military and technology as earth's fighters and warships.Its weapons and animals.Its prehistoric animals and creatures.We have share in on them from Pacific Ocean perspective.Its vast New World but where Antarctica is not bad.Its point of view.Perspective.And 20th Century technology and food.Food of North America.Computers over years and internet.Topics.Rock music and cartoons.Movies and Sci-Fi.Home styles and pets.Pet cats.And its history and news.Events matched to outer space.Evolution process.How things changed over decades.Sciences.Cities and areas,regions that don't exist in the millions center of the world attention.Interact with industry and corporations.From the past to 18th century to accomplish this test and learn technology.Come out with results to take back home.What is protecting this planet in space.What empires neighbour this planet earth class Sol System.Smuggle all of North America and Europe's technology as in a flashback military channel.Get technologies secrets on weapons and tech.NATO's secrets and G7.How operate cannons and difference of guns.Our loyalities on this planet.Antarctica began back in Galactica before religion days.It was in this galaxy on a Zeon colony.It was a thriving civilization of hundreds of millions of Galactican white race people.They had government that contructed thousands of cities and ten's of major cities.It had advanced technology like a fighter from Cybertron that was black and propellored.it was used in space travel and stocked up their armed forces and carriers.It was a militant country of French.It saw its end when it fought with Communism and Allah.Allah took conceited continent and froze it over on earth.It was taken from Galactica and all of its pride and frozen solid for all of its government and technology to turn rust to dirt and rock to nothing.It has a problem from what Allah did to it.Its going to be 25 degrees Celsius million years from now.Temperature it had in Galactica and more.Primitive age for this continent.McMurdo Station is the best it has.Primitive era with Oceania and temples.Now its for me to take it back from its problem of much crust of continent is part seabed.Broke it up into islands as frozen ice took the place of land.We'll use Comet Empire technology to turn the ice into steel alloy.Or retain seabed and lift it upward to make a continent.It will be made into a reinforced fortress.It will see Galactica of past when it was young and military.It will be a base in space with a barrier above in its sky.Lift upward and have hangars and tunnels for warships.It can summon its army to fire at the enemy.It will have energy guns large sizes.It will have missiles.Defenses.And to travel in space base of operations.Deploy army and Space Marines.Warships and troops reinforce it within inside.Our galaxy from Stargate Pretender Gobot Space AI Europeans could get a foot hold on earth and to decipher technology in present.During that they can stay on earth in certain places designate for outer space.I wanted to make Antarctica for earth class area designated with permissions space travel.Far away from civilized world no interference.We could have warships travel from Antarctica.And they can use their technology in polar continents to use North America's technology but interpreted into Stargate to make the fields they need and uncover land to make cities,highways and roads,streets.Start process to make suburbs.This is what I want as Feroz.And when I go to future I will end up doing this.And we make a close base to South Island New Zealand.Connection for us because South Island NZ goes with Antarctica.It is far from North America but then they would want to investigate the technology.To recycle their technology.Operation to make structure for investigations and sciences.I want to gut out this planet before we go to my galaxy.It has all of its importance pitted out dry.Making this colony is must to strengthen our hold on earth class and its neighbouring galaxies.Antarctica needs defenses from other nations on other.Its the privacy and buissiness to Queen Armada and Queen Aramanda.Antarctica was my homeland and I am to reclaim it as a base for UFP and Stargate.We will land on Greenland and Antarctica and heavy brick homes readied with highways to restorage of Antarctica.Build up stores and many more its hidden structures and cities restored once we saw it free from earth.Gain and be back in my galaxy with different weather for poles continent.My people will learn by living there we restore it.Its our land and has frozen over government.Military project to extract from international world of North America and Europe.We need a place in between of the companies that develope military hardware for a joint effort.International.And to get new and old designs of fighters and warships.1980's Frigates.Cold War tanks and ground units.Weapons like guns from WW2.WW1 and WW2 warships.For us to do a method like my pictures on Zarconian wikia.Grow them giant for service.Get on design from Raytheon of Europe and Grumman.MiG and SU.Extracting everything with Feroz that night last night on earth unless we build this base and communities,cities.Our station will have internet.We will have internet from wifi from satellites.We will build our own station and small city.Pretender European Antarctic Station.Connected by railways and from above by Hercules transport.Space vessels will land in Antarctica and land in secret base connected to our station. http://zarconian.wikia.com/wiki/File:Antarct.jpg 640px-MF.jpg
Dear Feroz, My Antarctica pages are a work of fiction. They're about a land that should exist, but unfortunately doesn't. I'm sorry to disappoint. Best,RRM —— From: Feroz Khan To: "ten.llebws|yrambor#ten.llebws|yrambor" <ten.llebws|yrambor#ten.llebws|yrambor> Sent: Tue, February 26, 2013 3:37:52 PM Subject: Antarctica and ON
220px-AntarcticBedrock2.jpg
I was wondering how do we do the process to visiting Antarctica for Southern Ontario.Do we go to an travel agent.No information about cities in Antarctica. https://www.google.com/search?oe=UTF-8&q=Metropolises+antarctica&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=1RwtUZzEHar-2QXuy4HgCA&biw=1280&bih=847&sei=4BwtUceHKtDo2gWq2oDICQ https://www.usap.gov/videoclipsandmaps/mcmwebcam.cfm I wanted to know about Antarctica and how to travel to the cities.And to immigrate there as you describe.We would move our things by airliner to Antarctica.And buy a 4 storey home for 20 000 dollars.Just as there might be cars and roads and streets there.Where is the airport near Metropolises and how do you get embassy of Antarctica to Durham Region,Ontario.Our police don't know about this either.How do we phone there?Any types of internet and tv from sattelite there.Is it modern like Canada?From Toronto's airport how do we get there.We land in New Zealand? https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/antarctica Why is it so hard to get photos of the cities on internet and why is Antarctica so hard to contact and give info?My family Khan family was heavily interested in cities and areas.We did not want New Zealand too small. http://www.mwlcanada.org/home/pon.htm We want to know about Islam in Antarctica.Food and life.And warmest Antarctica gets.Get there by airliner. https://twitter.com/globetrade Send info to my uncle on Antarctica and to visit so we can live there.Not in a deep Subarctric freeze.Resonable temperatures as there is gree grass there. https://twitter.com/ErinBurnett https://discoverychannel.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Queen_Armada/Vegatation_Antarctica https://www.durham.ca/ http://www.flightstats.com/go/Airport/airportDetails.do;jsessionid=9FAF0DF701FCDF5BA26F9969FA54EDD0.web1:8009?airportCode=YYZ Can I go to school in Antarctica.Why do they show stations and not cities in Antarctica.Can you go to a station and get to the cities.Cars and normal things in Ontario. http://www.ontarioweather.com/ http://zarconian.wikia.com/wiki/Zarconian_Wiki Zarconian wiki is my wiki I made.I would like Antarcticans to view it on internet and to have audience there.My cousins are there.They are part of my lineup.Can my Dad and Mom get their old age pensions.And my disability for mental health and to see doctor regularly.I wanted my family to be born in Antarctica,my daughter like in my wiki.I wish things were easier like to Cincinatti or any place in North America is easier. http://www.classmates.com/places/school/Balmoral-Senior-Public-School/17919521?startYear=1986&endYear=1988&type=registration&hitwiseSegment=paid&checkCookie=1361912849572#!/p?communityType=1&communityId=17919521&startYear=1986&endYear=1988 http://www.yorku.com/web/index.htm https://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/alaska-state-troopers/ Could you get through to our government to talk to my family about our chances at Antarctica.I hope our budget can afford it from our distance.I hope the Antarcticans are understanding.We have alot of questions and might just get an airliner trip to Antarctica.You should explain the stations to do with cities.Cruises and cruiseliners are unsafe and slow an costly.We are from the Pacific in origin.We became Canadian and I and my brother ,younger is born in Toronto. http://principalityofwestantarctic.com/component/option,com_rsform/Itemid,72/view,rsform/ We want to box our things and transport it by airliner to Antarctica.I am a transexual female muslim of Tribal Pacific descent.Feroz Khan.n.We want to be Antarctica and have an embassy member come to our home and talk and arrange.Is it safe?I like Antarctica has no animals.I want a pet bobcat. http://www.noahfcc.com/bobcats.htm I can have my youtube and Blue Jay games and NHL game in Antarctica.Buy games and lego from internet.We can have our cereals like in Ontario.Chocolate and Italian food.Recipes.Deserts from Ontario and US.Pop..Our new home and buying homes. http://www.vb-tech.co.za/Antartica/ http://realestateforum.classifieds1000.com/Antarctica http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/antarctica/property/archive/ My rock music and Edge music and radio music in Antarctica.My computer in Antarctica and my families belongings arranged move everything in our new home.Visit to buy home.Currency.Shopping or stay in Ontario is better.We wanted to move to Kingston ON.Our daily life transported from ON to Antarctica.Safety law and government.Hospitals. Theaters like ciniplex. http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/FindATheatre.aspx http://www.sportsnet.ca/ http://ottawa.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Many companies that are Antarctican that built North America.Masonry and many URLS are from Antarctica technology.Brought Antarctica for century here in North America.You might know everyone.But they have not been back in a while.Legal.No crime or its not bad,kidnapping even by Antarctica goverment.Torture and shown around hospitality.Learn about a how Queen Armada has changed and my tomb.Heavy misunderstanding.To avoid troubles in Northern Hemisphere. Mom's email.Arrangements and done properly.Let down.Change of environment.And visiting historic.Money and funds to airliner to Antarctica from Toronto. Antarctica could be thawed but is an operation that is not first anymore.Antarctica might have its Metropolises from Galactica.Giant space towers and civilization.Might be a way to wreckage from space on earth.Then to do processes to change its location.Settle it down on a planet that has been conquered.It needs a new planet and I have my own homeland.Bringing back its modern technology and civilization.But in time travelling and military it takes a second priority.We will make it to adjust to our empire.It might take the place of North America to do with us.New super land with a new start.Start the masonry and buildng many highways.
Lying in the Antarctic Circle that rings the southern part of the globe, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent. Its size varies through the seasons, as expanding sea ice along the coast nearly doubles its size in the winter. Most of Antarctica is covered with ice; less than half a percent of the vast wilderness is ice free.
antarctica-map-111010
[Pin It] A map of Antarctica.
CREDIT: NASA.
View full size image
Antarctica_Without_Ice_Sheet.png
The continent is divided into two regions, known as East and West Antarctica. East Antarctica makes up two thirds of the continent, and is about the size of Australia. Ice in this part of the continent averages 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) thick. West Antarctica, on the other hand, is a series of frozen islands stretching toward the southern tip of South America, an extension of the Andes Mountains prominent on the warmer continent. The two regions are separated by the Transantarctic Mountains, a range that stretches across the entire continent, although sometimes covered by ice.

The ice of Antarctica is not a smooth sheet but a continuously changing expanse. Glaciers inch across the continent, cracking and breaking the ice. Crevasse fields with cracks hundreds of feet deep span the continent, hidden by only a shallow layer of snow. Icebergs fall along the coast, where shelves and glaciers break off into the sea. [PHOTOS: Antarctica, Iceberg Maker]

Despite its thick ice, Antarctica is classified as a desert because so little moisture falls from the sky. The inner regions of the continent receive an average of 2 inches (50 millimeters) of precipitation—primarily in the form of snow—each year. More rain falls in the Sahara desert. The coastal regions receive more falling moisture, but still only average 8 inches (200 mm) annually. Unlike most desert regions, however, the moisture doesn't soak into the ground. Instead, the snow piles on top of itself.

Although little liquid falls from the sky, Antarctica still boasts colossal blizzards. Like sandstorms in the desert, the wind picks snow up from the ground and blows vast white blankets. Winds can reach up to 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour).

Because it lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons in Antarctica are the opposite of seasons in the north. Summer runs from October to February and winter covers the remainder of the year. But don't pack your swim suit and sunglasses—Antarctic summers average just above freezing, with the more mountainous East Antarctica colder than its western counterpart. The lowest temperature in the world, -89.6 degrees Celsius (-129.3 degrees Fahrenheit), was recorded at the Russian Vostok station in Antarctica. The concept of cities in Antarctica is different than the concept elsewhere in the world.

For one thing, each Antarctican city has its own unique design. It is hard to imagine someone strolling through a city in Antarctica and not immediately knowing which of the cities they are in, based solely on the architecture.

For another, there are no streets in Antarctican cities. People get from one area to another either by walking along the boulevards and forest paths, or calling upon their flyer to drop them off at their next destination.

Because the people of Antarctica handle much of their own needs through home-based technology, most of the buildings in Antarctican cities are devoted to the arts and sciences, private residences, and a generous representation of restaurants, rather than commerce (office buildings, as that term is understood elsewhere in the world, make up less than ten percent of city structures). Antarctican cities also contain an unusually large amount of space set aside for parks and natural habitats. No matter where you are in an Antarctican city, you are never more than a five minute walk from a small forest, or a ten minute walk from a waterfall.

In addition to the hundreds of small cities, townships and villages within the continent, there are seven major metropolises. The scope of this article is limited to a brief description of each of those seven. Anyone curious to know greater details about these seven, or information on Antarctica's hundreds of charming smaller municipalities, is urged to contact the nearest Antarctican embassy. (Please see Tourism for a complete list of embassies and their locations).

All visitors to Antarctica arrive first in the oceanside city of Delphia, located on Antarctica's southern shore. The city is famous for its magnificent blue and green bays, which stretch all the way within the city itself. Nearly all structures in Delphia are built of gray granite, so that after a fresh rain the city glistens like a seal. Hot air ballooning is a popular pastime, and in fact there are some families and individuals whose homes are kept aloft by balloons year-round. In addition to its extensive collection of libraries, Delphia is also known for its restaurants, such as the Irunijef, which stretches across seven city blocks, serving hundreds of different seafood dishes.

Dell, on the eastern shore of the continent, is built around its miles of white beaches. Because many of the beaches extend into the city itself, it is not unusual, strolling the boulevards to get from one building to the next, to spot whales surfacing, and dolphins leaping, in the adjacent coves. In addition to its reputation for some of the finest museums in Antarctica, Dell is also known for its extensive space exploration complex, which has been in operation since the mid-eighteen hundreds.

One of the most unusual cities in Antarctica is Faz, a massive underground city in northern Antarctica. Faz consists entirely of underground caverns, some eighty stories high, carved by water over millions of years. The caverns themselves are comprised of a highly reflective form of rose quartz, so that the entire city can be illuminated by a single candle placed near the entrance (but away from drafts). At seven o'clock each evening, the candle's light is puffed out. Faz is best known for its research facilities, and the awe-inspiring Heart of Waterfalls located in the center of the underground city, where one hundred and thirty-six different waterfalls of various heights (some as tall as a skyscraper) tumble ceaselessly down into a blue pool fifty miles in diameter. Visitors also usually take time to explore the extensive moss forest tucked into the eastern corner of the city.

The oldest city in Antarctica, and also the seat of the "government" of Antarctica, such as it is, is the city of Urdz, located on the northern shore. Urdz is home to the Great Hall, the most ancient man-built structure in Antarctica, dating back 40,000 years. The buildings in the city are comprised entirely of red quartz and blue glaciers. Urdz is the largest producer of roses in the nation, with over 10,000 varieties, including 100 different species of pure blues.

At least once in each Antarctican's lifetime, a pilgrimage is made to Mimosa, on the western shore of Antarctica, site of the continent's only battle, in 1403 B.C., to repel foreign invaders. Mimosa is home to the world's largest sculpture, consisting of 620,000 intricately-carved life-sized statues which fill the bay, shoreline and hills. The city also offers an excellent example of a Fes, the circular area of common buildings often found in early Antarctican towns.

Suh, located halfway up the western peninsula of the continent, is composed entirely of huge statues in which its citizens live and work. The tallest of these, a tribute to Hal Felix, who conceived the notion of the Five Concepts, is eighteen stories high. The city is famous for its noodles, its huge population of elfs, a cat-like creature native to Antarctica, and its botanical research.

Squirbranchrel, in the northern forest, is the oldest and largest example of the original Antarctican communities, when the natives lived in trees (Antarcticans did not go through a cave-dwelling phase). Fifty miles wide, and thirty miles deep, the city is built entirely in the treetops of the region, its buildings connected to one another through an elaborate series of multi-level wooden bridges. Squirbranchrel boasts the continent's tallest skyscraper, measured from base to wooden observation deck, as well as the world's largest aquarium (twelve miles wide, eight miles deep, three miles high).As you will notice during your stay in Delphia, Antarctican cities do not have any streets. Delphia, like most Antarctican cities, is laid out like an immense park, with buildings clustered throughout the trees, lakes and rivers, joined to each other, depending on the area of the city, by pedestrian boulevards, bridges, garden walkways, or grassy paths. For this reason, when using a flyer within the city, your flyer will transport you to the "park pad" nearest your destination (park pads are scattered unobtrusively throughout the cities). It is then a short walk to where you wish to go, or you may use a trolley. Automated trolleys run on rails throughout the cities, and can take you from your flyer to your specific destinaton, and from there to another store or restaurant you wish to visit, or return you to your flyer. Although most people use their flyers to travel by air from one city to another, there are two-lane highways winding along the coast all around the continent for those who wish to travel by road, at which point the flyer's tires are used. Flyers are powered based on the slow molecular decomposition of certain metals. A thick sheet of this energy source, roughly six inches by six inches, lasts for approximately 100,000 miles. The sheets themselves are inexpensive.
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After a week or so in Delphia, most visitors start exploring the continent, a journey that normally lasts several months. Many visitors, half-way through the first year, will return to whichever residence they have decided to call home in Antarctica, to get more of a feel for the day-to-day experience of living in Antarctica, shopping in the local stores, planting a garden, visiting the neighborhood restaurants, museums, and theaters. People often talk of this period as a time when they feel great inner peace, and physical well-being. There is a tendency to read more, to go on long walks in the woods and along the shores, to explore the quiet valleys, to picnic alongside the rivers, to paint outdoors.Delphia is built along a series of beautiful blue and emerald bays, crystal clear to a depth of 1,000 feet, its tree-lined blocks filled with parks, rivers and pastel and granite buildings, the tallest of which is twenty stories. Brightly colored hot air balloons float silently above the city, often late into the evening; walking home along the canals from a midnight meal with friends, you may be able to hear, in the sky, the occasional murmur of conversation and laughter. Although you are free to do whatever you wish as soon as you disembark from the transcontinental flyer, visitors are strongly urged to spend their first day in Antarctica locating a residence, because of the physical adjustment most visitors go through their first twenty-four hours in Antarctica. Your volunteer guide will fly you to a number of sites he or she thinks would enchant you based on talking to you: this may be a glass and stone suite located atop one of the City's modest towers, overlooking the bays, or a small townhome deep within one of the many lively neighborhood sections, or a quiet cottage off by itself on one of the many cliffs overlooking the ocean. You are welcome to change your residence as often as you prefer, although many people grow attached to the home they first chose, their first day on the continent.

Antarctica has no indigenous inhabitants, but there are seasonally staffed research stations note: approximately 30 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, send personnel to perform seasonal (summer) and year-round research on the continent and in its surrounding oceans; the population of persons doing and supporting science on the continent and its nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region covered by the Antarctic Treaty) varies from approximately 4,000 in summer to 1,000 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000 personnel including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard research are present in the waters of the treaty region;

Summer (January) population - 3,687 total (1998-99)
Winter (July) population - 964 total (1998-99)
Summer-only stations - 32 total (1998-99)
Year-round stations - 42 total (1998-99)

In addition, during the austral summer some nations have numerous occupied locations such as tent camps, summer-long temporary facilities, and mobile traverses in support of research.

Page Index
AntarcticBedrock.jpg
List of Wintering Stations in Antarctica
Stations South of 60°S | Stations North of 60°S
Transportation in Antarctica
Institutions & National Antarctic Programs

List of Wintering Stations in Antarctica

Research Stations in Antarctica (Wikipedia)
Stations South of 60°S ( map )
No. Station Country Open Location
1 Amundsen-Scott
- Virtual tour of the Pole
- Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station - Wikipedia United States Permanent 89°59'51"S 139°16'22"E
2 Maitri India Permanent 70°45'57"S 11°44'09"E
3 Novolazarevskaya Russia Permanent 70°46'26"S 11°51'54"E
5 Showa Japan Permanent 69°00'25"S 39°35'01"E
6 Molodezhnaya Russia Unmanned 67°40'18"S 45°51'21"E
8 Mawson
- Mawson Station - Wikipedia Australia Permanent 67°36'17"S 62°52'15"E
10 Zhongshan China Permanent 69°22'16"S 76°23'13"E
11 Progress Russia Summer 69°22'44"S 76°23'13"E
13 Davis Australia Permanent 68°34'38"S 77°58'21"E
14 Mirny Russia Permanent 66°33'07"S 93°00'53"E
15 Vostok Russia Permanent 78°28'00"S 106°48'00"E
16 Casey Australia Permanent 66°17'00"S 110°31'11"E
17 Dumont d’Urville France Permanent 66°39'46"S 140°00'05"E
19 McMurdo
- Virtual tour- McMurdo
- Your Stay at McMurdo Station
- Polar Support (NSF)
- McMurdo - Wikipedia United States Permanent 77°50'53"S 166°40'06"E
20 Scott Base
- Scott Base - Wikipedia New Zealand Permanent 77°51'00"S 166°45'46"E
21 Rothera United Kingdom Permanent 67°34'10"S 68°07'12"W
22 San Martin Argentina Permanent 68°07'47"S 67°06'12"W
23 Vernadsky
- Ukrainian Antarctic Centre
- COMNAP
- About of Vernadsk Ukraine Permanent 65°14'43"S 64°15'24"W
24 Palmer Station
- Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)
- Palmer Station - Wikipedia United States Permanent 64°46'30"S 64°03'04"W
25 Capitan Arturo Prat Chile Permanent 62°30'00"S 59°41'00"W
35 General Bernardo O’Higgins Chile Permanent 63°19'15"S 57°54'01"W
36 Esperanza Argentina Permanent 63°23'42"S 56°59'46"W
37 Marambio Argentina Permanent 64°14'42"S 56°39'25"W
38 Orcadas Argentina Permanent 60°44'20"S 44°44'17"W
41 Belgrano II Argentina Permanent 77°52'29"S 34°37'37"W
42 Halley V
- Halley VI Draft - Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE)
- Halley VI United Kingdom Permanent 75°34'54"S 26°32'28"W
44 Neumayer Germany Permanent 70°38'00"S 08°15'48"W
45 SANAE South Africa Permanent 71°40'25"S 02°49'44"W
46 Troll Norway Permanent 72°00'07"S 02°32'02"E
47 Concordia France/Italy Permanent 72°06'06"S 123°23'43"E
48 Gabriel De Castilla Spain Summer 62°58'40"S 60°40'30"W
49 Decepción Station Argentina Summer 62°58'20"S 60°41'40"W
50 Mendel Polar Station Czech Republic Summer 63°48'16.32"S 57°53'8.82"W
51 Kunlun Station China Summer 80°25'01"S 77°06'58"W
52 Asuka Station Japan Unmanned 71°31'34"S 24°08'17"E
53 Mizuho Station Japan Permanent 70°41'53"S 44°19'54"E
54 Mario Zucchelli Station Italy Summer 74°42'S 164°07'E
55 Svea Sweden Summer 74°35'S 11°13'W
56 Wasa Station Sweden Summer 73°03'S 13°25'W
57 Tor Station Norway Summer 71°53'20"S 05°09'30"E
58 Kohnen Station Germany Summer 70°00'S 00°04'E
59 Princess Elisabeth Base Belgium Permanent 71°57'1.16"S 23°20'48.72"E
60 Siple Station United States Permanent 75°55'S 83°55'W
Stations on King George Island ( map )
No. Station Country Location
26 Presidente Eduardo Frei Chile 62°12'00"S 58°57'51"W
27 Escudero Chile 62°12'04"S 58°57'45"W
28 Great Wall China 62°12'59"S 58°57'44"W
29 Bellingshausen Russia 62°11'47"S 58°57'39"W
30 Artigas Uruguay 62°11'04"S 58°54'09"W
31 King Sejong Korea 62°13'24"S 58°47'21"W
32 Jubany Argentina 62°14'16"S 58°39'52"W
33 Arctowski Poland 62°09'34"S 58°28'15"W
34 Comandante Ferraz Brazil 62°05'00"S 58°23'28"W
Stations North of 60°S ( map )
No. Station Country Location
4 Marion Island South Africa 46°52'34"S 37°51'32"E
7 Alfred Faure, Iles Crozet France 46°25'48"S 51°51'40"E
9 Port aux Français, Iles Kerguelen France 49°21'05"S 70°12'20"E
12 Martin de Viviès, Ile Amsterdam France 37°49'48"S 77°34'12"E
18 Macquarie Island Australia Permanent 54°29'58"S 158°56'09"E
39 Bird Island United Kingdom 54°00'31"S 38°03'08"W
40 King Edward Point United Kingdom 54°17'00"S 36°29'37"W
43 Gough Island South Africa 40°21'56"S 09°52'00"WAntarcticaStationsMap1.jpg
Ports & harbors: Antarctica's only harbor is at McMurdo Station. Most coastal stations have offshore anchorages, and supplies are transferred from ship to shore by small boats, barges, and helicopters. A few stations have a basic wharf facility. All ships at port are subject to inspection in accordance with Article 7, Antarctic Treaty; offshore anchorage is sparse and intermittent. McMurdo Station, Palmer Station government use only except by permit.

Airports: Antarctica has twenty available airports, none of these are developed public-access airports or landing facilities. 30 stations, operated by 16 national governments party to the Antarctic Treaty, have landing facilities for either helicopters and/or fixed-wing aircraft; commercial enterprises operate two additional air facilities.

Helicopter pads are available at 27 stations; runways at 15 locations are gravel, sea-ice, blue-ice, or compacted snow suitable for landing wheeled, fixed-wing aircraft; of these, 1 is greater than 3 km in length, 6 are between 2 km and 3 km in length, 3 are between 1 km and 2 km in length, 3 are less than 1 km in length, and 2 are of unknown length; snow surface skiways, limited to use by ski-equipped, fixed-wing aircraft, are available at another 15 locations; of these, 4 are greater than 3 km in length, 3 are between 2 km and 3 km in length, 2 are between 1 km and 2 km in length, 2 are less than 1 km in length, and data is unavailable for the remaining 4.

Antarctic airports are subject to severe restrictions and limitations resulting from extreme seasonal and geographic conditions; they do not meet ICAO standards, and advance approval from the respective governmental or nongovernmental operating organization is required for landing (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

Total: 20
Over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 6 (2003 est.)

Heliports: 27 stations have restricted helicopter landing facilities (helipads) (2003 est.) Restore historic to Antarctica and buildings with regions.Regions,lakes, and rivers will be reinforced to space.Warships will dock at the crust exterior lower section.Government buildings and modern space bank for Transformer Gobot Universe.Time Travel to change G7.Antarctica will have the media,tv 100's stations.Radio and rock.Military can leave for temporary leave and visits.And Antarcticans can live as citizens and their home.Restoration.New future.Planting of woods,valley and forests.Creating parks and manmade structures.Tourist attraction.Museums and to assimulate what they have and reinforce that for space.Antarctic Oasis is a moderately sized region with around 65 nations and a population of about 400 billion. It is also one of the largest regions in the NationStates world claiming Antarctic real estate, along with the region of Antarctica. Initially formed from the wreckage of former Valdesian nations, Antarctic Oasis was purportedly the world's last unspoiled Antarctic wilderness — that is, until powerful civilizations invaded, building massive ice cities in the desert and mountains and dotting the receding glaciers with thriving seaports. Soon, the shady leaders of the region's rogue nations had an extensive commercial paradise on their hands, relentlessly harvesting the earth of its gold, uranium and oil reserves, and finding new and terrible ways to abuse the indigenous penguin — including drafting the more vicious ones into military service and forcing the less

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useful into lives of servitude as butlers or test subjects in the region's many secret experimental weapons labs.

Antarctic Oasis is strictly a rogue region — only the scummiest dictatorships, corporate dominions and Evil Conservative Empires populate this frozen wasteland, where UN/WA membership is neither condoned nor condemned — and members adhere to a strict "shoot on sight" rule for any Compliance Ministry official spotted inside the region's sovereign borders. Region members cherish their natural isolation from the global community, which allows them to partake in any number of duplicitous deeds away from the prying eyes of international watchdogs.

2092

West Antarctica is among the fastest growing areas in the world

The icy continent today would be unrecognisable to observers from the 20th century. Its northern peninsula is now home to a multitude of towns and conurbations, with a total population numbering in the millions.

Melting of surface ice has resulted in conditions appropriate for large-scale human settlement.* Even farming and crop growing is now possible in some of the most northerly areas. Air temperatures in the polar regions have increased more than anywhere else in the world - meaning that parts of Antarctica are now comparable with the climates of Alaska, Iceland and northern Scandinavia.

Huge levels of immigration are now underway from countries all over the world that have been affected by climate change, creating a diverse mixture of people and cultures flocking to this new land of opportunity. In some ways, the settlement of Antarctica is similar to that of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The highest density cities are becoming cultural "melting pots" similar to New York and London.

The world is rapidly moving towards a situation where certain equatorial regions have been abandoned altogether. Enormous deserts now cover Africa, southern Asia, Central America, parts of the southern USA and even southern European states.*

An unexpectedly warm period about 15 million years ago temporarily thawed Antarctica, turning the continent green around its edges, a new study says.

Antarctica developed its ice sheets about 34 million years ago. But during the more recent warm period, the interior landscape would've resembled tundra found in parts of modern-day Chile and New Zealand, and the coasts would've been lined with beeches and a type of conifer.

The surprising evidence comes from "abundant" remains of leaf waxes in sediment cores taken from deep beneath Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, said study leader Sarah Feakins, a biogeochemist at the University of Southern California.

The sediments had blown off Antarctic soils into the ocean during the Miocene, a mild period in Earth's history between about 15 and 20 million years ago. (Explore a prehistoric time line.)

Not only were the leaf wax remnants numerous—suggesting many plants were growing on Antarctic coasts—but an analysis of their chemistry revealed the continent was warmer than thought, Feakins said.

Previous research from sediment cores hinted that Antarctica was about five degrees Fahrenheit (three degrees Celsius) warmer on average during the Miocene than it is today.

But the new study revealed that Antarctic temperatures were 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) warmer—which means the Antarctic coast would have been about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) on a summer day.

"We knew the Miocene was a warm period, but it was a surprise to see how warm it got," Feakins said.

(See pictures of modern Antarctic warming.)

Leaf Waxes Reveal Ancient Climate

When a plant dies, most of it decomposes, except for pollen grains and the waxes on its leaves. The leaf wax can then get trapped and preserved in sediment as a kind of "molecular fossil," Feakins said.

For the new study, Feakins and colleagues extracted plant waxes from the Miocene sediment cores and put them in a mass spectrometer, which separates out isotopes—variations of chemicals that have different masses.

Leaf waxes keep climate records by capturing the ratios of water isotopes that a plant "drank" while it was alive, said Feakins, whose study was published online June 17 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Normally the lightest element on the periodic table, hydrogen has a stable isotope called deuterium that's twice as heavy as regular hydrogen.

When it rains, water made from deuterium falls out first, leaving the lighter isotope in the cloud.

"Today the precipitation that falls over Antarctica is some of the lightest, isotopically speaking, because evaporation happens in the subtropics, and the cloud is almost all rained out by the time it gets to Antarctica," Feakins explained.

But the team found more deuterium preserved in the ancient plant waxes.

Combining that data with atmospheric models, the team concludes that the Miocene's warmer oceans led to increased evaporation, so that clouds were more water-laden, and thus produced more rainfall, by the time they traveled to the Antarctic coast.

(See "Fossil Sea Cow Teeth Reveal Steamy Ancient Earth.")

Pollen grains also found in the sediments revealed two tree species: the beech Nothofagus fusca and a shrubby conifer in the genus Podocarpidites.

Tree species vary in how far their pollen grains can be transported from the plant. Neither N. fusca nor Podocarpidites grains can travel far, which shows that the trees must have grown on Antarctica and not, say, on the more distant coasts of New Zealand.

And if the trees had grown far inland on Antarctica, the pollen would not have been found in coastal sediments.

Modern Warming Insights

Although the Miocene was generally warmer than it is today, the new research may have some relevance to the current trend of global warming, Feakins noted.

Earth's average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) since 1880, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Two-thirds of that warming has happened since 1975.

(Read "The Big Thaw" in National Geographic magazine.)

Understanding Miocene rainfall patterns may help scientists figure out how much wetter it will get as the world gets hotter, the study authors say.

Overall, warming-related changes to the global water cycle are "really troubling [because] it's just not easy or inexpensive for societies to adjust to big changes in water supply," Mark Pagani, a biogeochemist at Yale University who wasn't on the study team, said via email.

And the new research suggests there will be "substantial" shifts in the water cycle—making areas either rainier or drier—due to current temperature changes, he said. (See a map of global warming's effects.)

"I realize that for most folks, stories about the Earth 20 million years ago sound very abstract," he added.

"But in terms of the Earth and climate, this [Antarctic warming] was not very long ago, and the distribution of the continents and chemistry of the atmosphere was actually not very different than today."
Antarctica has six months of daylight and six months of darkness. The earth revolves around the sun and tilts on it's axis. During the winter, Antarctica is tilted away from the sun, causing it to be dark. For the half of the year that is summer, Antarctica is facing the sun and getting more of its direct rays.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was -129ºF. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was 59ºF. The average summer temperature is 20ºF. The average winter temperature is -30ºF.

The highest wind speed ever in Antarctica was when the wind was moving at five meters per second. The wind is an important factor in making Antarctica cold. The wind can lower the temperatures of Antarctica by at least ten degrees.

The Antarctic is colder than the North Pole because it warms up faster and it cools down faster. Antarctica gets warmer faster than the Arctic because the Ocean water carries heat from the equator to the poles. The land of Antarctica heats up faster than the waters of the Arctic.

To find out what the weather at the South Pole is like right now The continent of Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest place on Earth. Located almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, about 98% of Antarctica is covered in ice (Wikipedia). In fact, the continent contains about 90% of all the ice in the world, enough to cause the land underneath to sink beneath the weight. Parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are estimated to be up to 2.5 km below sea level because of the weight of the ice (NSIDC).

Antarctica is divided by the Transantarctic Mountain range. The Western Antarctic ice sheet is the portion of the continent west of the Weddell Sea and east of the Ross Sea (See Figure 1). Everything east of this point is the Eastern Antarctica ice sheet. The Antarctic ice sheet is at least 40 million years old (NSIDC). Antarctic ice has an average thickness of about 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) (Wikipedia) but is over 4,200 meters thick in some areas (NSIDC).

Current Trends: Changes in Mass Balance

Over the previous decades, Antarctica, like Greenland, has been experiencing a number of changes in response to climatic changes that can best be described as changes in mass balance. According to Overland et al. (2008), "Although both the Arctic and Antarctic are subject to a similar annual cycle of solar radiation and the same increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, over the previous two decades the two regions have experienced dramatically different changes in sea ice extent, temperature, and other climatic indicators. While these differing responses suggest a paradox, they are largely consistent with known climate dynamics." Like Greenland, the small number of research and reporting stations compared to the massive size of the continent make it difficult to ascertain what is actually happening across the entirety of Antarctica. However, advances in technology have allowed scientists to decipher, observe, and record data from which regional trends are quite apparent.

Building on the results of a number of studies employing various methods and techniques, the IPCC suggests overall Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance ranged from growth of 50 Gt per year to shrinkage of 200 Gt per year from 1993 to 2003 (IPCC 2007). Despite that wide range, the IPCC finds that acceleration of mass loss is "likely to have occurred, but not so dramatically as in Greenland" (IPCC 2007). Other studies have found that "the ice sheet as a whole was certainly losing mass [over the time period of the study], and the mass loss increased by 75% in 10 years" (Rignot et al., 2008). Part of this has to do with the differences in regional mass balance trends.

The interior and coastal areas of Antarctica receive vastly differing amounts of precipitation due to the fact that weather fronts often are not able to reach the center of the continent, leaving it cold and dry. Although the South Pole receives roughly 10 cm (4 inches) of precipitation each year, precipitation in the interior averages closer to 20 mm (0.8 inches) annually, making Antarctica home to the largest desert in the world (Wikipedia). Despite the low levels of precipitation, ice lasts for long periods of time in the interior. However, in some areas, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the precipitation that does fall is not enough to offset sublimation, resulting in negative mass balances of glaciers and ice sheets. The coastal areas, on the other hand, typically receive quite a bit of snowfall as they are warmer, allowing for more precipitation. Essentially, the East Antarctic Ic Sheet is observed to be thickening while the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is thinning (See Figure 2).
Figure 2. "Rates of surface elevation change (dS/dt) derived from ERS radar-altimeter measurements between 1992 and 2003 over the Antarctic Ice Sheet (Davis et al., 2005). Locations of ice shelves estimated to be thickening or thinning by more than 30 cm yr–1 (Zwally et al., 2006) are shown by red triangles (thickening) and purple triangles (thinning)." Image credit: IPCC, 2007.

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet has been thickening at a rate of about 2.2 cm per year since the mid-1990's, more than most global computer models predicted. This is primarily attributed to increased snowfall (Davis et al., 2005) – although other studies (Monaghan et al., 2006; Rignot et al., 2008) did not find the strong increase in snow accumulation suggested by Davis et al. (2005). The changes in Western Antarctica, on the other hand, are considered to be related to ice and glacier dynamics.

As the Antarctic ice sheets spread under their own weight, mass is transferred from the interior to the margins where it may break off, forming icebergs or become an ice shelf, floating on the water but remaining attached to the ice sheet. As an ice shelf advances, it receives new material from both snowfall on its surface and ice from the interior. The majority of ice streams and outlet glaciers on the Antarctic continent flow into ice shelves.

Over recent years, significant changes in thickness have been observed in ice shelves (permanent ice floating on the ocean surrounding Antarctica), which cover roughly 11% of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, an area of about 1.5 × 106 km2 (IPCC 2007). A 2005 study found there to be "a clear regime of [glacial] retreat, which now exists across the Antarctic Peninsula." The authors of the 2005 study found that of 244 marine glaciers under observation, 87% have retreated since the middle of the last century, and the boundary between advancing and retreating glaciers has moved further and further southward (Cook et al. 2005). Even the glaciers that were advancing were small compared to the scale of retreats observed in the other study areas. Additionally, in 2006, a study found that ice shelves fed by West Antarctic glaciers were losing mass by 95 ± 11 Gt per year while ice shelves fed by East Antarctic glaciers were gaining mass at a rate of 142 ± 10 Gt per year. Overall, faster rates of change were observed on smaller ice shelves (Zwally et al., 2006).

Rates of mass loss are being watched closely, as they can indicate potential ice shelf instability. The 2007 IPCC report notes, "Thinning of about 1 m yr–1 (Shepherd et al., 2003; Zwally et al., 2006) preceded the fragmentation of almost all (3,300 km2) of the Larsen B Ice Shelf along the Antarctic Peninsula in fewer than five weeks in early 2002 (Scambos et al., 2003)."

Changes in the mass of ice shelves doesn't directly impact sea level because the material contained in the ice shelf is already floating. However, ice shelves do affect sea level indirectly in that they impact the flow of glaciers and other nearby ice. Both the hydrostatic force of the ocean and friction at the side of the ice shelves and ocean floor slows the flow of the ice shelf and its discharge. When the ice shelf is no longer there to regulate flow from the interior, it continues unimpeded into the sea. This phenomenon was observed after the 2002 breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf, when glaciers flowing into the ice shelf started moving at eight times their normal speed. Despite this large increase, there was very little change in the velocity of ice still supported by the intact portions of the ice shelf, which has been observed to be undergoing widespread glacial retreat (Rignot et al., 2004; Scambos et al., 2004; Cook et al., 2005). Across Antarctica, glacier flow seems to be accelerating primarily due to reductions in the ice shelves, whereas in Greenland increased glacial flow results mainly from dynamic thinning.

A number of studies have observed increased flow velocity of glaciers along the Antarctic Peninsula (De Angelis and Skvarca, 2003; Scambos et al., 2004; Rignot et al., 2004, 2005, 2008; Zwally et al., 2006; Shepherd et al., 2004; Thomas et al., 2004 are some). One recent study found the flow rate of these glaciers has increased by about 12% over the past 12 years alone (Pritchard and Vaughan, 2007). A study of the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea area showed faster thinning during 2002-03 than in the 1990s extending 300 km (190 miles) inland. The increased velocity of the tributary glaciers in this area has led to ice shelf thinning (Shepherd et al., 2002, 2004; Joughin et al., 2003; Thomas et al, 2004). According to Thomas et al. (2004), if these shelves break up like Larsen B the resulting glacial drainage would raise sea levels by 130 cm (51 inches). In other locations in Western Antarctica, such as the Whillans and Bindschadler Ice Streams, however, ice flow deceleration is occurring (Joughin and Tulaczyk, 2002).

Coastal Antarctica is also experiencing fluctuations in sea ice coverage. Sea ice off of West Antarctic is especially vulnerable to warming since it is exposed to both increasing air and ocean temperatures. A 2008 study found that from 1979–2004, sea ice in the Antarctic Peninsula region retreated 31 ± 10 days earlier and advanced 54 ± 9 days later, resulting in a decrease of the ice season by 85 ± 20 days. Conversely, in the western Ross Sea region, sea ice retreated 29 ± 6 days later and advanced 31 ± 6 days earlier.an increase in the ice season of 60 ± 10 days. According to the study's authors, "Sea ice advance appeared to be more sensitive to climate variability than sea ice retreat, perhaps owing to its unconstrained equatorward expansion and ability to quickly respond to changing atmospheric conditions. Sea ice extent determined in part by circulation patterns. Continued greenhouse gas increases would suggest…a continuation, and perhaps spatial expansion, of the regional sea ice trends described here. If the trends in the [Antarctic Peninsula region] continue, then thinning of the West Antarctic ice sheet will likely continue, exacerbating sea level rise" (Stammerjohn et al., 2008).

Reasons for Current Trends

The current trends in Antarctica are due to changes in temperature and responses to forcing. Once these changes occur, they can lead to positive feedback loops that will have other, sometimes unforeseen effects on the region's climate.
Changes in ocean temperatures
Figure 3. "Temperature trends (°C yr–1) at 900 m depth using data collected from the 1930s to 2000, including shipboard profile and Autonomous LAgrangian Current Explorer float data. The largest warming occurs in subantarctic regions, and a slight cooling occurs to the north. From Gille (2002)." Image credit: IPCC 2007.

The average temperature of oceans across the globe has been increasing. Over the period 1961 to 2003, global ocean temperature has risen by 0.10°C from the surface to a depth of 700 m. Despite a slight cooling since 2003, the IPCC states "…even if all radiative forcing agents were held constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming trend would occur in the next two decades at a rate of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans" (IPCC 2007).

The Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, has also been warming. Gille (2002) found the largest increases in ocean warming occur in subantarctic regions, while a slight cooling occurred to the north (See Figure 3). The upper ocean next to the West Antarctic Peninsula warmed by more than 1°C from 1951 to 1994 (Meredith and King, 2005). The increasing temperature is likely to have resulted from "large regional atmospheric warming," as well as diminishing winter sea ice (Vaughan et al., 2003; IPCC 2007). In the Amundsen Sea region, increased melt is consistent with an observed 0.2°C increase in ocean temperature nearby (Jacobs et al., 2002; Robertson et al., 2002; IPCC 2007). It is estimated that a 1°C increase in water temperature under an ice shelf increases basal melt rate by about 10 m per year, which can lead to thinning and structural instability (Shepherd et al., 2004; IPCC 2007).
Changes in surface and air temperature

In addition to being one of the driest areas on the planet, Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. Scientists at Vostok Station recorded the world's lowest temperature of –89°C (–129°F) (Wikipedia). During the winter, the temperatures in the interior can drop as low as –90°C (–130°F) while summer maximums along the coast can average as low as 5°C and as high as 15°C (41°F and 59°F). Of the two halves of the continent, Eastern Antarctica is colder because it has a higher elevation than the West.

Over the past five decades, however, the Antarctic Peninsula has seen temperature increases of 0.5°C (0.9°F) per decade, making it one of the fastest warming places on Earth, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (Scott, 2008). According to the 2007 IPCC report and satellite imagery, surface temperature changes show regional patterns—strong warming in the Antarctic Peninsula region has been observed, while the interior has experienced a slight cooling if any change at all (van den Broeke, 2000; Vaughan et al., 2001; Thompson and Solomon, 2002; Doran et al., 2002; Schneider et al., 2004; Turner et al., 2005; NASA Earth Observatory) (See Figure 4).

Scientists believe the cooler temperatures observed in the interior of the continent have two possible explanations. The first is related to warmer ocean temperatures in the region. As ocean temperatures increase, more precipitation is produced over the interior of the continent. This cools the region around the South Pole. Despite a 2005 study that showed thickening across the interior of the continent, as mentioned earlier, other studies (Monaghan et al., 2006; Rignot et al., 2008) have not found evidence of this trend.

The second possible explanation is the affect of the ozone hole on the polar vortex, a tight band of winds spinning around the South Pole. Ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation in the Earth's stratosphere, which consequentially warms. The loss of ozone therefore may have caused the stratosphere above Antarctica to cool, which in turn would strengthen the polar vortex. The cooling trend over the interior is a result of the vortex acting as a more effective atmospheric barrier to the penetration of warmer air from the coastal areas into the center of the continent. According to Overland et al., (2008), the effect of lower ozone levels has masked the true impacts greenhouse gases are having on temperatures and sea ice loss.

As the ozone hole becomes smaller, the stratosphere will continue to warm, leading to a marked increase in temperatures across the whole of Antarctica. With this relatively warmer weather, more precipitation will be able to fall, leading to a projected mass gain over the interior of the continent such as that already being experienced in Greenland, however this has not yet been conclusively observed. However, the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere between the surface and the stratosphere, is already showing signs of warming. In a 2006 study, air temperatures 5.5 km above sea level have increased by 1.5–2.1°C (2.7–3.9°F) since the 1970's.
Figure 4. "This image illustrates long-term changes in yearly surface temperature in and around Antarctica between 1981 and 2007. Places where it warmed over time are red, places where it cooled are blue, and places where there was no change are white." Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Unlike the interior, coastal areas and the western portion of the Antarctic continent have undergone the most rapid average annual temperature rise of anywhere on the planet—a rate, according to scientists, unprecedented over the past two millennia (Vaughan et al., 2003; Fox and Cziferszky, 2008). The biggest increase in surface temperatures is occurring in the Antarctic Penisula, where there has been a warming of mean annual temperatures of more than 2.5°C (4.5°F) since the 1950s, 2°C of which have happened since 1980 alone (King et al., 2003; Overland et al., 2008). The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the few places on the continent that melts and thaws each year. However, according to Vaughan (2006), the number of days per year on which melting of ice can occur has increased by up to 74% in the same time period.

Surface melting is less of an issue for overall mass balance in Antarctica than it is in Greenland because while surface melt runoff is large for parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, it has generally small or zero elsewhere on the ice sheet (IPCC 2007). However, there is evidence that the cooling trend that dominated throughout the end of the last century is over, and that warming 2004–2005 summer seasons in Antarctica marked the beginning of a warming trend.

According to NASA, temperatures were so warm in January 2005, an area the size of California melted. Although the area had refrozen only a week later, there were a number of interesting things about this occurrence. The team found "the observed melting occurred in multiple distinct regions, including far inland, at high latitudes and at high elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely. Evidence of melting was found up to 900 kilometers (560 miles) inland from the open ocean, farther than 85 degrees south (about 500 kilometers, or 310 miles, from the South Pole) and higher than 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level. Maximum air temperatures at the time of the melting were unusually high, reaching more than five degrees Celsius (41°F) in one of the affected areas." With warming surface temperatures, it seems likely that surface melt will continue to increase.

According to the IPCC, "…the pattern of observed temperature trends in the last half of the 20th century (warming over the Antarctic Peninsula, little change over the rest of the continent) is not projected to continue throughout the 21st century." Instead, the rest of the continent will begin warming as well (see Figure 5). The science suggests that ice shelf changes have resulted from environmental warming—oceanic and atmospheric. The effects of changing patterns of oceanic circulation are also being explored, as they likely have significant impacts on the region.
Subglacial Topography

The underlying landscape impacts the formation and stability of the ice and snow above it. The composition of bedrock and bed sediments impacts the speed at which the glacier flows. The slope of land beneath glaciers can also have significant impact on the stability of glaciers. The Pine Island Glacier, for example, is one of Antarctica's thinning glaciers. A recent study of Pine Island subglacial topography confirms the potential instability of the glacier's lower basin, which holds enough ice to raise global sea by about 24 cm (Vaughan et al., 2006). Another place under watch is the Ross Ice Shelf, which scientists regard as a barometer of the Western Antarctic ice sheet's health. The Ross Ice Shelf's bed is actually below sea level, and therefore at increased risk of deterioration from rising and warming seas (Fox, 2008). The ice sheets that survived the last period of deglaciation are on land, not over the sea.

Water also plays a role in glacial flow and ice sheet health. Below a glacier or ice sheet, water can act as a lubricant and cause glacial acceleration and dynamic thinning. Lakes have recently been found underneath East Antarctica's Recovery Glacier. Scientists have linked these subglacial lakes to increased flow in the ice stream. In addition to accelerated melting due to these underground lakes, the authors of the study warn that glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) are possible in subglacial lakes such as these (Bell et al., 2007). These GLOFs would not only add to sea level rise, but also would lead to additional thinning of the ice sheet.
Responses to Forcing

Ice sheets, shelves, and glaciers respond to environmental forcing over numerous time scales. According to the IPCC, surface warming needs more than 10,000 years to affect ground temperatures, while a moulin allows water to penetrate to the bed and change temperatures within minutes. Likewise, changes in velocity can occur over long time periods, or, as scientists are discovering after observing events like the Larsen B collapse, very quickly. These processes may begin cycles of positive feedbacks, wherein a thaw can lead to accelerated movement, leading to dynamic thinning, further increasing surface melt, etc.

Evidence from the paleo-record suggests that during previous ice ages ice sheets respond to warming by shrinking, and conversely, grow in response to cooling. Additionally, there is evidence that warming-induced shrinkage can be far faster than growth (Paterson, 1994; Clark et al., 1999). The IPCC states, "Despite competition from stabilizing feedbacks, warming-induced changes have led to rapid shrinkage and loss of ice sheets in the past, with possible implications for the future" (IPCC 2007).
Figure 5. "Annual surface temperature change between 1980 to 1999 and 2080 to 2099 in the Arctic and Antarctic from the MMD-A1B projections." Image credit: IPCC 2007.
Difference Between the West and East Antarctic Ice Sheets

Many of the trends we've discussed so far have been almost contradictory for the East and West Antarctic Ice sheets. The two ice sheets that make up 95% of what we know as Antarctica have, according to a growing number of scientists, experienced vastly different climate histories. Recently publicized findings of algae and plant material from the Dry Valleys, as well as analysis of the 2006 and 2007 ANDRILL cores show the Western Antarctic ice sheet experienced a climate as much as 20°C warmer than it does currently (Fox, 2008). Temperatures in Western Antarctica fluctuated in response to changes in the temperature of the ocean, which underlies most of the region's ice sheet.

These findings reaffirm the vulnerability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate changes. One of the researchers pointed out that "[we are] getting this sense of extended periods when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was very small, if not gone altogether" (Fox, 2008). One of these times was 4 million years ago, when records from other regions indicate global temperatures 3 or 4°C warmer than today and CO2 levels were around 400 parts per million. These conditions have been projected by the IPCC in their latest assessment as within the range of expected levels by 2100. The melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would lead to sea level rise of as much as 20 feet. The central East Antarctic Ice Sheet, on the other hand, is stable. While some of it fringes lie above the ocean, the majority of the sheet is high, dry, and cold, making it unlikely that it will melt significantly.

Effects of Climate Change in Antarctica

These climatic changes and trends are already having an impact on the environment of the region, as well as further abroad. Antarctica is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, which is the region south of 30°S where the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans flow together. Here, where the waters from the different oceans mix, lies one of the densest parts of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). Because the bottom waters of the MOC form in the Southern Ocean, changes observed in the waters surrounding Antarctica will have impacts on regions across the world. Environmental changes will, and in many cases, already are impacting societies and wildlife.
Sea Level Rise

Because Antarctica holds about 90% of the world's ice, rising temperatures and increased mass loss bring with them rising concerns about the impacts on sea level rise. If the Antarctic ice shelves melted completely, the sea would rise by over 73m (USGS). Even the Antarctic Peninsula alone is estimated to hold enough ice to raise global sea level by 5 to 10 cm (Fox, 2008). If the shelves melted, it would drastically change the shapes of the continents as we know them. For an idea of what impact this amount of melt would have on coastlines across the world, click here.

Like the Greenland ice sheet, Antarctica is not going to completely melt into the sea immediately. Current models predict that most of Antarctica's ice will remain in the interior for many years. Numerous papers, however, show a rate of sea level rise of 3.1 ± 0.7 mm per year over 1993 to 2003, a significant portion of which are due to changes in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (Cabanes et al., 2001; Cazenave and Nerem, 2004; Leuliette et al., 2004; IPCC 2007). According to the IPCC's latest report, Antarctica contributed 0.2 ± 0.35 mm per year to sea level rise over the period 1993 to 2003, with accelerated loss through 2005.

Although an increase in precipitation over Antarctica is projected to contribute negatively to sea level rise relative to the present day, it does not take into account accelerated surface melting, nor accelerated ice flow. Likewise, many aspects of ice shelf and glacier dynamics are still not understood well enough to accurately model. Currently, the IPCC (2007) believes that thickening of East Antarctica has been more than offset by thinning related to increased ice outflow in coastal regions of West Antarctica.
Freshwater flux

Because Antarctica has about 90% of the world's ice it has about 70% of the world's fresh water. Freshening can result from a combination of factors, including increased precipitation, reduced sea ice production, melting, and glacial flow. As this freshwater is released into the sea, it affects both the salinity and density of ocean water. Small, long-term contributions do not have much effect. On the other hand, large, quick inputs are enough to significantly impact ocean dynamics. One of the big concerns is that massive inputs of freshwater from large-scale melting in Greenland or Antarctica will slow or shut down the MOC, which, in turn, as significant effects on the climates of Europe and North America.

According to the IPCC, the oceans in subpolar latitudes have been freshening since 1955 (IPCC 2007). For example, in the Ross Sea area, decreases in salinity of 0.003 psu per year have been observed over the last four decades (Jacobs et al., 2002). Freshening in the Southern Ocean has already been linked to changes in the South Pacific, where the deeper waters originate from Antarctica. This area has seen a freshening of 0.01 psu from 1968 to 1991 as well as reduced bottom transport (Johnson and Orsi, 1997).
Impact on flora and fauna
Figure 6. Adelie Penguins, shown above at a rookery, are considered to be an indicator species for the impacts of a changing climate in Antarctica. Entire colonies have disappeared due possibly to shrinking habitat and hunting grounds. Image credit: NOAA Image Gallery, Giuseppe Zibordi, Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA7.

Warming temperatures and melting ice in Antarctica are having an effect on the continent's wildlife. Grasses and birds not common to the Antarctic Peninsula have been colonizing the area as it warms and loses ice. Like the polar bear in the Arctic, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently evaluating 12 species of penguins, including the Emperor Penguin, for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Many of these species have declined by as much as 50 percent over the past 50 years, due to a reduction in habitat and food sources brought about by the changes taking place across the continent (Mullen, 2007) (See Figure 6). A number of bird species are observed to have undergone changes in nesting and laying habits. A study of nine sea birds found that on average, the birds arrive at their nesting colonies up to 9.1 days later than in the 1950's, and lay eggs 2.1 days later (Barbraud and Weimerskirch, 2006).
Economic impact: Mineral extraction

Although the climatic changes taking place across the Antarctic continent will have economic impacts felt throughout the world, melting ice and warmer temperatures will open Antarctica itself up to exploitation. The main mineral resources known on the continent are coal and iron ore. However, the most valuable resources of Antarctica likely lie offshore in the form of oil and natural gas. Fields were initially explored in the Ross Sea in 1973, but there are more extensive areas to explore under the ice shelves. Currently, the Antarctic Treaty bans all exploitation of mineral resources. Despite the protection afforded by the Treaty, it will be interesting to see if the ban on resource extraction will be challenged as those resources become more accessible and countries attempt to establish proprietary rights to them such as in Greenland and the Arctic.

Predictions of Antarctica's Future

According to the IPCC, "Comprehensive model runs for ice sheet behaviour over the last century… match overall ice sheet trends rather well (Huybrechts et al., 2004) but fail to show these rapid marginal thinning events," suggesting these changes are responses to processes or stimuli not currently included in the models. There are many processes, such as those linked to sub-ice bathymetry, that are not well understood yet. Additionally, the knowledge that outlet glacier and ice stream speeds can change as rapidly as they have is recent. Furthermore, Antarctica's subglacial topography is still being uncovered and its potential impacts studied. The roles of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), the southern hemisphere's pattern of atmospheric and climactic variability, and radiative forcing must be further clarified in order to understand precipitation, humidity, and temperature trends. Therefore, it is likely that model predictions and current assessments underestimate the causes, impact, and effects of thinning ice sheets.

Sources of Further Information

Wikipedia
"Antarctica"
"Antarctica ecozone"
"Antarctic Peninsula"
"East Antarctica"
"List of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands"
"Extreme points of the Antarctic"
"McMurdo Sound"
"Ross Sea"
"Weddell Sea"
Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica, USGS & NASA
State of the Cryosphere, NSIDC
Mullen, William. "Once frozen in time, artifacts now rotting." The Chicago Tribune. July 2, 2007.
"The Antarctic Treaty," British Antarctic Survey.
Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapse: On February 28 through March 8, 2008, about 570 square kilometers of ice from the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Western Antarctica suddenly collapsed, putting the remaining 15,000 square kilometers of the ice shelf at risk. The ice is being held back by a "thread" of ice about 6 km wide. However, because Wilkins and Larsen had different conditions governing their glacial dynamics, it is likely that the effect of the Wilkins Ice sheet breakup on sea level rise will be smaller than that of Larsen B. Read more and see amazing images here.Imagine flying in a plane over Antarctica, the southernmost continent and the coldest and driest region on earth. From the air, you see that it covers a huge area, about 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles), about half the size of the United States. Antarctica is just slightly larger than another continent in the southern hemisphere, Australia.

You also see that it is quite mountainous. Antarctica has an average elevation of 2,300 meters (7,500 feet) making it the highest continent on Earth. In comparison, the average elevation of the state of Colorado (the highest in the USA) is a mere 6,800 feet.

As your plane circles over the landscape, you note that Antarctica is divided into unequal eastern and western portions by the Transantarctic Mountain chain, which is about 100 million years old. East Antarctica is a platform about 488 meters (1,600 feet) above sea level, composed of rocks more than 550 million years old, with younger rocks on top.
compare antarctica

mountains

West Antarctica lies south of South America. The land in West Antarctica is lower than in the east, and in some places is even well below sea level. The continent’s highest peak, Vinson Massif, is found in West Antarctica. It is located on the coast and is 4,876 meters (16,000 feet) tall.

Under the surface of Antarctica, all is not cold and quiet. In fact, there is an active volcano in Antarctica: Mount Erebus, which is 3,794 meters (12,447 feet) in height, is located in East Antarctica, on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf—a place where ice extends far out over the ocean.

Antarctica is also home to Lake Vostok, one of the world's largest lakes. Lake Vostok is roughly the size of North America's Lake Ontario, but it is not a lake for sailing boats. It lies 4 kilometers (2 miles) below the continental ice sheet. Its waters have been sealed from air and light under the tremendous pressure of the continental ice sheet for perhaps as long as 35 million years.
gondwana animationGeologic History: Antarctica was not always the frozen, dry continent it is now. Two hundred million years ago, it was the center of a “supercontinent” called Gondwana that included parts of South America, Africa, India, and Australia.

The breakup of Gondwana about 180 million years ago started the episode of continental drift that separated Africa from South America, and formed the South Atlantic Ocean.
At the same time, the Indian subcontinent started moving north, heading for Asia and the eventual uplift of the Himalayas, while Antarctica moved southward. The similarity in the types of rocks and fossils found in these southern continents helps prove the theory of continental drift.
Rocks and fossils also confirm that Antarctica was once connected to these regions, and that it was much warmer and wetter in the distant past.
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