Antarctic
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Antarctic

Coordinates: 90°00?S 00°00?W / 90.000°S -0.000°E / -90.000; -0.000

The Antarctic region with the Antarctic Convergence and the 60th parallel south

The Antarctic (US English or , UK English or and or )[Note 1] is a polar region around Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau and other island territories located on the Antarctic Plate or south of the Antarctic Convergence. The Antarctic region includes the ice shelves, waters, and all the island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence, a zone approximately 32 to 48 km (20 to 30 mi) wide varying in latitude seasonally.[4] The region covers some 20 percent of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5 percent (14 million km2) is the surface area of the Antarctic continent itself. All of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude are administered under the Antarctic Treaty System. Biogeographically, the Antarctic realm is one of eight biogeographic realms of Earth's land surface.

Geography

The Antarctic (without its periphery, a composite satellite image)
Anthony de la Roché's and other early voyages in the Southern Ocean

As defined by the Antarctic Treaty System, the Antarctic region is everything south of the 60°S latitude. The Treaty area covers Antarctica and the archipelagos of the Balleny Islands, Peter I Island, Scott Island, the South Orkney Islands, and the South Shetland Islands.[5] However, this area does not include the Antarctic Convergence, a transition zone where the cold waters of the Southern Ocean collide with the warmer waters of the north, forming a natural border to the region.[6] Because the Convergence changes seasonally, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) approximates the Convergence line by joining specified points along parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude.[7] The implementation of the convention is managed through an international Commission headquartered in Hobart, Australia, by an efficient system of annual fishing quotas, licenses and international inspectors on the fishing vessels, as well as satellite surveillance[]

The islands situated between 60°S latitude parallel to the south and the Antarctic Convergence to the north, and their respective 200-nautical-mile (370 km) exclusive economic zones fall under the national jurisdiction of the countries that possess them: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom; also an EU Overseas territory), Bouvet Island (Norway), and Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia).

Kerguelen Islands (France; also an EU Overseas territory) are situated in the Antarctic Convergence area, while the Falkland Islands, Isla de los Estados, Hornos Island with Cape Horn, Diego Ramírez Islands, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island, Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands, Crozet Islands, Prince Edward Islands, and Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha group remain north of the Convergence and thus outside the Antarctic region.

Ecology

Antarctica

A variety of animals live in Antarctica for at least some of the year, including:[8][9]

Most of the Antarctic continent is permanently covered by ice and snow, leaving less than 1 percent of the land exposed. There are only two species of flowering plant, Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort, but a range of mosses, liverworts, lichens and macrofungi.[10]

Sub-Antarctic Islands

Biodiversity among terrestrial flora and fauna is low on the islands: studies have theorized that the harsh climate was a major contributor towards species richness, but multiple correlations have been found with area, temperature, remoteness of islands, and food chain stability. For example, herbivorous insects are poor in number due to low plant richness, and likewise, indigenous bird numbers are related to insects, which are a major food source.[11]

Conservation

Moubray Bay and Mount Herschel, Eastern Antarctica

The Antarctic hosts the world's largest protected area comprising 1.07 million km2, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protection Area created in 2012.[12] The latter exceeds the surface area of another vast protected territory, the Greenland National Park's 972,000 km2.[13] (While the Ross Sea Marine Protection Area established in 2016 is still larger at 1.55 million km2, its protection is set to expire in 35 years.[14][15])

Society

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, the geographic South Pole is signposted in the background
Grytviken Museum in South Georgia

People

The first Antarctic land discovered was the island of South Georgia, visited by the English merchant Anthony de la Roché in 1675. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent of Antarctica is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny.

The Australian James Kerguelen Robinson (1859-1914) was the first human born in the Antarctic, on board the sealing ship Offley in Gulf of Morbihan (Royal Sound then), Kerguelen Island on 11 March 1859.[16][17] The first human born on an Antarctic island was Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen born on 8 October 1913 in Grytviken, South Georgia.[18]

The Antarctic region had no indigenous population when first discovered, and its present inhabitants comprise a few thousand transient scientific and other personnel working on tours of duty at the several dozen research stations maintained by various countries. However, the region is visited by more than 40,000[19] tourists annually, the most popular destinations being the Antarctic Peninsula area (especially the South Shetland Islands) and South Georgia Island.

In December 2009, the growth of tourism, with consequences for both the ecology and the safety of the travellers in its great and remote wilderness, was noted at a conference in New Zealand by experts from signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. The definitive results of the conference was presented at the Antarctic Treaty states' meeting in Uruguay in May 2010.[20]

Time zones

Because Antarctica surrounds the South Pole, it is theoretically located in all time zones. For practical purposes, time zones are usually based on territorial claims or the time zone of a station's owner country or supply base. National Geographic Society. (2012, October 09). South Pole. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/south-pole/

List of offshore islands

Norwegian cruise ship at Petermann Island, with the Kiev Peninsula of Graham Land in the background

North of 60°S latitude

South of 60°S latitude

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The word was originally pronounced without the first /k/, but the spelling pronunciation has become common and is often considered more correct. The pronunciation without the first k sound and the first t sound is however widespread and a typical phenomenon of English in many other similar words too.[1] The "c" was added to the spelling for etymological reasons and then began to be pronounced, but (as with other spelling pronunciations) at first only by less educated people.[2][3]

References

  1. ^ American Heritage Dictionary Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Crystal, David (2006). The Fight for English. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-19-920764-0.
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Antarctic". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ "Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research website". SCAR. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "The Antarctic Treaty | NSF - National Science Foundation". www.nsf.gov. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources - Department of Agriculture". www.agriculture.gov.au. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Archived 2010-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Antarctic Wildlife". Natural Environment Research Council - British Antarctic Survey. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ Vanessa Woods (14 October 2011). "Antarctic wildlife". Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ "Plants of Antarctica". Natural Environment Research Council - British Antarctic Survey. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ Chown; Gremmen; Gaston (1998). "Ecological Biogeography of Southern Ocean Islands: Species-Area Relationships, Human Impacts, and Conservation". The American Naturalist. 152 (4): 562. doi:10.2307/2463357. ISSN 0003-0147.
  12. ^ SGSSI Marine Protection Area (Management Plan).
  13. ^ Greenland in figures 2009. Statistics Greenland, 2009.
  14. ^ CCAMLR to create world's largest Marine Protected Area. CCAMLR Website
  15. ^ Slezak, Michael (26 October 2016). "World's largest marine park created in Ross Sea in Antarctica in landmark deal". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ Robinson, James (1906). "Appendix B: Log of the Offley". In Cerchi, D. (ed.). Reminiscences (Report). Hobart, Tasmania, AU: Archives Office of Tasmania. pp. 98-99. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012.
  17. ^ Ivanov, Lyubomir; Ivanova, Nusha (2014). ?, ?, , ? , ? [Antarctic: Nature, History, Utilization, Geographic Names, and Bulgarian Participation] (in Bulgarian) (first ed.). Sofia, Bulgaria: Manfred Wörner Foundation. ISBN 978-619-90008-1-6 – via ResearchGate.net.see also:. biblio.bg (in Bulgarian) (Second revised and updated ed.). 2014. ISBN 978-619-90008-2-3. Archived from the original on 10 February 2016.
  18. ^ Headland, Robert (1984). The Island of South Georgia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521424745.
  19. ^ IAATO tourist statistics 2007/08
  20. ^ Antarctic Nations Considering New Controls On Ships Amid Tourism Explosion. Archived 2012-01-18 at the Wayback Machine Ray Lilley, The Associated Press, 8 December 2009.

Further reading

External links


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Antarctic
 



 



 
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