Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, overlying the South Pole. EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001 A continent is one of several large Landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by Convention rather than any strict criteria with seven regions The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. It is situated in the southern hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. Southern Hemisphere is the half of a Planet that is South of the Equator —the word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles (or parallels of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of At 14. 4 million km² (5. 4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a Some 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which averages at least 1. Ice is a Solid phase, usually crystalline, of a Non-metalic substance that is liquid or gas at Room temperature, such as Ammonia 6 kilometres (1. 0 mi) in thickness. A mile is a unit of Length, usually used to measure Distance, in a number of different systems including Imperial units United States
On average, Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. The elevation of a Geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point often the mean sea level.  Since there is little precipitation, except at the coasts, the interior of the continent is technically the largest desert in the world. In Meteorology, precipitation (also known as one class of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric A desert is a Landscape or region that receives very little precipitation. There are no permanent human residents and there is no evidence of any existing or pre-historic indigenous population. Only cold-adapted plants and animals survive there, including penguins, fur seals, mosses, lichen, and many types of algae. Penguins ( order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless Birds living almost Fur seals are any of nine species of Pinnipeds in the Otariidae family Mosses are small soft Plants that are typically 1–10  cm (0 Lichens (ˈlaɪkən or /lɪtʃən/ are symbiotic associations of a Fungus (the mycobiont with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as Algae ( sing. alga are a large and diverse group of simple typically Autotrophic organisms ranging from Unicellular to Multicellular forms
The name Antarctica is a romanized version of the Greek compound word Αntarktiké (Aνταρκτική), meaning "Opposite of the Arctic". There are several methods for the romanization of Greek, especially depending whether the language written with Greek letters is Ancient Greek or Modern Greek and Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly The Arctic is the Region around the Earth 's North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole.  Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. Terra Australis ( Latin, "land of the south" was a theorized continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the 18th century Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev (Михаил Петрович Лазарев November 3, 1788 &mdash April 11, 1851) was a Russian fleet Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (also known as Фаддей Фаддеевич Беллинсгаузен Faddey Faddeyevich Bellinsgauzen) (&ndash served as a naval officer However, the continent remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation.
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by twelve countries; to date, forty-five countries have signed the treaty. The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate International relations with respect to The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. An ecozone or biogeographic realm is the largest scale biogeographic division of the earth's surface based on the historic and evolutionary distribution patterns Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists of many nationalities and with different research interests. 
Belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe, Asia and north Africa—had existed since the times of Ptolemy (1st century AD), who suggested the idea to preserve the symmetry of all known landmasses in the world. North Africa or Northern Africa is the Northernmost Region of the African Continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Claudius Ptolemaeus ( Greek: Klaúdios Ptolemaîos; after 83 &ndash ca Symmetry generally conveys two primary meanings The first is an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically-pleasing proportionality and balance such that it reflects beauty or Not to be confused with Land mass. A landmass is a large continuous area of land. Depictions of a large southern landmass were common in maps such as the early 16th century Turkish Piri Reis map. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish The Piri Reis map ("Piri" pronounced /piɹi/ is a famous pre-modern World map created by 16th century Ottoman - Turkish admiral and cartographer Even in the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics.
European maps continued to show this hypothetical land until Captain James Cook's ships, HMS Resolution and Adventure, crossed the Antarctic Circle on January 17, 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. Captain James Cook FRS RN ( – 14 February 1779) was an English Explorer, Navigator and The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles (or parallels of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. Events 38 BC - Octavian marries Livia Drusilla. 1287 - King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca Year 1773 ( MDCCLXXIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  Cook in fact came within about 75 miles (121 km) of the Antarctic coast before retreating in the face of field ice in January 1773.  The first confirmed sighting of Antarctica can be narrowed down to the crews of ships captained by three individuals. According to various organizations (the National Science Foundation, NASA, the University of California, San Diego, and other sources), ships captained by three men sighted Antarctica in 1820: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (a captain in the Russian Imperial Navy), Edward Bransfield (a captain in the Royal Navy), and Nathaniel Palmer (an American sealer out of Stonington, Connecticut). The National Science Foundation (NSF is a United States Government agency that supports fundamental Research and Education in all the non-medical The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program The University of California San Diego (popularly known as UC San Diego or UCSD) is a public Research university in San Diego, California Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (also known as Фаддей Фаддеевич Беллинсгаузен Faddey Faddeyevich Bellinsgauzen) (&ndash served as a naval officer The Imperial Russian Navy refers to the Tsarist Fleets prior to the Bolshevik Revolution. Edward Bransfield (1785 &ndash 1852 was a master in the Royal Navy and arguably the discoverer of the continent of Antarctica. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) Nathaniel Brown Palmer ( 8 August 1799 &ndash 21 June 1877) was an American seal hunter, explorer sailing captain and ship designer The Town of Stonington is in New London County, Connecticut in the southeastern corner of that U Von Bellingshausen saw Antarctica on January 27, 1820, three days before Bransfield sighted land, and ten months before Palmer did so in November 1820. Events 98 - Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva. Year 1820 ( MDCCCXX) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year On that day the two-ship expedition led by Von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev reached a point within 32 kilometers (20 mi) of the Antarctic mainland and saw ice fields there. Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev (Михаил Петрович Лазарев November 3, 1788 &mdash April 11, 1851) was a Russian fleet The first documented landing on mainland Antarctica was by the American sealer John Davis in Western Antarctica on February 7, 1821, although some historians dispute this claim. Captain John Davis (*1784 in Surrey, England) was a seal hunter from Connecticut, USA who claimed to have set foot on Antarctica West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, lying on the Pacific Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains Events 457 - Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1074 - Battle of Montesarchio in which the Prince Year 1821 ( MDCCCXXI) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common year
In December 1839, as part of the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838–42 conducted by the United States Navy (sometimes called the "Ex. The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean ("the Southern Seas" conducted by the United States Navy from Ex. ", or "the Wilkes Expedition"), an expedition sailed from Sydney, Australia, into the Antarctic Ocean, as it was then known, and reported the discovery "of an Antarctic continent west of the Balleny Islands". Sydney (ˈsɪdniː is the most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 4 For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of The Balleny Islands ( form a chain of uninhabited mainly volcanic, Islands in the Southern Ocean stretching from 66°15' to 67°35'S and 162°30' to 165°00'E That part of Antarctica was later named "Wilkes Land", a name it maintains to this day. Wilkes Land is a large district of land in eastern Antarctica, formally claimed by Australia as part of the Australian Antarctic Territory, though this
In 1841, explorer James Clark Ross passed through what is now known as the Ross Sea and discovered Ross Island (both of which were named for him). Sir James Clark Ross ( April 15, 1800 &ndash April 3, 1862) was a British naval officer and explorer. NOAA Ross seajpg|thumb|200px|thumb|Ice in the Ross Sea Antarctica]] The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Ross Island is an island formed by four Volcanoes in the Ross Sea by Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound He sailed along a huge wall of ice that was later named the Ross Ice Shelf (also named for him). The Ross Ice Shelf ( is the largest Ice shelf of Antarctica (an area of roughly 487 000 km² and about 800 km across about the size of France) Mount Erebus and Mount Terror are named after two ships from his expedition: HMS Erebus and Terror. Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost active Volcano on Earth For mountains named Mount Terror see Mount Terror. Mount Terror is a large Shield volcano that forms the eastern part of Ross Island Ross expedition After two years service in the Mediterranean Sea, Erebus was refitted as an exploration vessel for Antarctic service and on November War service Terror saw service in the War of 1812 against the United States.  Mercator Cooper landed in Eastern Antarctica on January 26, 1853. Mercator Cooper ( September 29, 1803 - Spring 1872 was a ship's captain who is credited with the first formal American visit to Tokyo and the East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, is one of the two major regions of the Antarctic Continent, lying on the Indian Ocean side of Events 1340 - King Edward III of England is declared King of France. Year 1853 ( MDCCCLIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common 
During an expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1907, parties led by T. W. Edgeworth David became the first to climb Mount Erebus and to reach the South Magnetic Pole. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE, (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922 was an Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of the period Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David (commonly known as Edgeworth David KBE, FRS, ( 28 January 1858 – 28 August 1934) Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost active Volcano on Earth The Earth 's South Magnetic Pole is the wandering point on the Earth's surface where the geomagnetic field lines are directed vertically upwards Douglas Mawson, who assumed the leadership of the Magnetic Pole party on their perilous return, went on to lead several expeditions until retiring in 1931.  In addition, Shackleton himself and three other members of his expedition made several firsts in December 1908 – February 1909: they were the first humans to traverse the Ross Ice Shelf, the first to traverse the Transantarctic Mountain Range (via the Beardmore Glacier), and the first to set foot on the South Polar Plateau. The Ross Ice Shelf ( is the largest Ice shelf of Antarctica (an area of roughly 487 000 km² and about 800 km across about the size of France) The Beardmore Glacier ( in Antarctica is one of the largest Glaciers in the world with a length exceeding 160 km (100 mi On December 14, 1911, an expedition led by Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen from the ship Fram became the first to reach the geographic South Pole, using a route from the Bay of Whales and up the Axel Heiberg Glacier. Events 1287 - St Lucia's flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses killing over 50000 people Year 1911 ( MCMXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Roald Amundsen 's South Pole expedition (1910–1912 was a Norwegian expedition to Antarctica aiming to be the first to reach the South Pole. Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (ˈɾuːɑl ˈɑmʉnsən ( July 16, 1872 – c Construction Nansen's ambition was to explore the Arctic farther north than anyone else The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. The Bay of Whales ( is an iceport indenting the front of Ross Ice Shelf just northward of Roosevelt Island. The Axel Heiberg Glacier is a valley Glacier, 48 km (30 mi long descending from the Polar plateau to the Ross Ice Shelf between the Herbert  One month later, the ill-fated Scott Expedition reached the pole.
Richard Evelyn Byrd led several voyages to the Antarctic by plane in the 1930s and 1940s. Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, USN ( October 25, 1888 &ndash March 11, 1957) was a pioneering American polar He is credited with implementing mechanized land transport on the continent and conducting extensive geological and biological research.  However, it was not until October 31, 1956 that anyone set foot on the South Pole again; on that day a U. Events 445 BC – Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 91 NLTse Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. S. Navy group led by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek successfully landed an aircraft there. George John Dufek ( 10 February 1903, Rockford Illinois - 10 February 1977, Bethesda Maryland) was an American naval 
Centered asymmetrically around the South Pole and largely south of the Antarctic Circle, Antarctica is the southernmost continent and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean; alternatively, it may be considered to be surrounded by the southern Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, or by the southern waters of the World Ocean. The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles (or parallels of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's Oceanic divisions covering about 20% of the water on the Earth 's surface The World Ocean, world ocean, or global ocean is the interconnected system of the Earth 's Oceanic (or marine) Waters It covers more than 14 million km² (5. 4 million sq mi), making it the fifth-largest continent, about 1. 3 times larger than Europe. The coastline measures 17,968 kilometers (11,160 mi) and is mostly characterized by ice formations, as the following table shows:
|Ice shelf (floating ice front)||44%|
|Ice walls (resting on ground)||38%|
|Ice stream/outlet glacier (ice front or ice wall)||13%|
Antarctica is divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains close to the neck between the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. Ice is a Solid phase, usually crystalline, of a Non-metalic substance that is liquid or gas at Room temperature, such as Ammonia An ice shelf is a thick floating platform of ice that forms where a Glacier or Ice sheet flows down to a Coastline and onto the ocean surface The three largest mountain ranges on the Antarctic continent are the Transantarctic Mountains, the West Antarctica Ranges, and the East Antarctica Ranges. NOAA Ross seajpg|thumb|200px|thumb|Ice in the Ross Sea Antarctica]] The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula The portion west of the Weddell Sea and east of the Ross Sea is called Western Antarctica and the remainder Eastern Antarctica, because they roughly correspond to the Western and Eastern Hemispheres relative to the Greenwich meridian. West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, lying on the Pacific Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, is one of the two major regions of the Antarctic Continent, lying on the Indian Ocean side of The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of Longitude) at which longitude is defined to be 0°
About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1. The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two Polar ice caps of the Earth. An ice sheet is a mass of Glacier Ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50000 km² (20000 mile²) 6 kilometers (1. 0 mi) thick. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thereby about 70% of the world's fresh water). Freshwater is a word that refers to bodies of water such as Ponds lakes rivers and streams containing low concentrations of dissolved Salts and other Total dissolved If all of this ice were melted, sea levels would rise about 60 meters (200 ft).  In most of the interior of the continent, precipitation is very low, down to 20 millimeters (0. In Meteorology, precipitation (also known as one class of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric 8 in) per year; in a few "blue ice" areas precipitation is lower than mass loss by sublimation and so the local mass balance is negative. Blue ice occurs when snow falls on a glacier is compressed and becomes part of a Glacier that winds its way toward a body of water (river lake ocean etc Sublimation of an element or compound is a transition from the Solid to Gas phase with no intermediate liquid stage In the dry valleys the same effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a desiccated landscape. "Dry valleys" redirects here For other uses see Dry valley The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of Valleys in
Western Antarctica is covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet ( WAIS) is the segment of the continental ice sheet that covers West (or Lesser Antarctica, the portion of Antarctica The sheet has been of recent concern because of the real, if small, possibility of its collapse. If the sheet were to break down, ocean levels would rise by several meters in a relatively geologically short period of time, perhaps a matter of centuries. Sea-level rise is an increase in Sea level. Multiple complex factors may influence this change The geologic time scale is a chronologic schema (or idealized Model) relating Stratigraphy to time that is used by Geologists and other Several Antarctic ice streams, which account for about 10% of the ice sheet, flow to one of the many Antarctic ice shelves. An ice stream is a region of an Ice sheet that moves significantly faster than the surrounding Ice. Ice sheet dynamics describe the motion within large bodies of ice, such those currently on Greenland and Antarctica. An ice shelf is a thick floating platform of ice that forms where a Glacier or Ice sheet flows down to a Coastline and onto the ocean surface
Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 meters (16,050 ft), is located in the Ellsworth Mountains. Vinson Massif is the highest Mountain of Antarctica, located about 1200 km (750 mi from the South Pole. The Ellsworth Mountains are the highest Mountain ranges in Antarctica, forming a 360 km (200 mi long and 48 km (30 mi wide chain of Mountains Although Antarctica is home to many volcanoes, only Mount Erebus is known to be active. Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost active Volcano on Earth Located on Ross Island, Erebus is the southernmost active volcano. Ross Island is an island formed by four Volcanoes in the Ross Sea by Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound There is another famous volcano called Deception Island, which is famous for its giant eruption in 1970. Deception Island is an Island in the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula which has one of the safest harbours in Antarctica Minor eruptions are frequent and lava flow has been observed in recent years. Other dormant volcanoes may potentially be active.  In 2004, an underwater volcano was found in the Antarctic Peninsula by American and Canadian researchers. The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, and almost the only part of that continent that extends outside the Antarctic Circle Recent evidence shows this unnamed volcano may be active. 
Antarctica is home to more than 70 lakes that lie thousands of meters under the surface of the continental ice sheet. A lake (from Latin lacus) is a Terrain feature (or Physical feature) a body of Liquid on the surface of a world that is localized to the Lake Vostok, discovered beneath Russia's Vostok Station in 1996, is the largest of these subglacial lakes. Lake Vostok (восток "east" is the largest of more than 140 subglacial Lakes found under the surface of Earth's southern-most Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Vostok Station (Станция Восток is a Russian (formerly Soviet) Research station located near the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility A subglacial lake is a Lake under a Glacier, typically an Ice cap or Ice sheet. It is believed that the lake has been sealed off for 500,000 to one million years. There is some evidence, in the form of ice cores drilled to about 400 meters (1,300 ft) above the water line, that Vostok's waters may contain microbial life. An ice core is a Core sample from the accumulation of snow and ice over many years that have re-crystallized and have trapped air bubbles from previous time periods A microorganism (also spelled micro organism or micro-organism and also called a microbe) is an Organism that is Microscopic (usually The sealed, frozen surface of the lake shares similarities with Jupiter's moon Europa. TemplateInfobox Planet.--> Europa (jʊˈroʊpə; or as If life is discovered in Lake Vostok, this would strengthen the argument for the possibility of life on Europa.  On February 7, 2008, a NASA team embarked on a mission to Lake Untersee, searching for extremophiles in its highly-alkaline waters. Events 457 - Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1074 - Battle of Montesarchio in which the Prince 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Lake Untersee, also known as Lake Unter-See, is the largest surface freshwater lake in the interior of East Antarctica. An extremophile is an Organism that thrives in and may even require Physically or Geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to the If found, these resilient creatures could further bolster the argument for extraterrestrial life in extremely cold, methane-rich environments. 
More than 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. The tallest Mountain in Antarctica is Vinson Massif rising 4892 meters (16050 feet above sea level This is an alphabetical list of Antarctic territories and territorial claims. This is a List of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands. Sub-Antarctic islands are Islands in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica north of the Antarctic Antarctica ' s geological history It also includes Paleontology. In Geology, a supercontinent is a Landmass comprising more than one Continental core or Craton. Gondwana (ɡɒnˈdwɑːnə originally Gondwanaland) was a southern Supercontinent that existed about 500 to 200 Ma ago Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart and Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago.
During the Cambrian period, Gondwana had a mild climate. The Cambrian is a geologic period and system that began about Ma (million years ago at the end of the Proterozoic eon and ended about Ma with West Antarctica was partially in the Northern Hemisphere, and during this period large amounts of sandstones, limestones and shales were deposited. Northern Hemisphere is the half of a Planet that is North of the Equator —the word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' Sandstone is a Sedimentary rock composed mainly of Sand -size Mineral or rock grains. Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 Shale (also called mudstone) is a fine-grained Sedimentary rock whose original constituents were Clay minerals or Muds It is characterized by East Antarctica was at the equator, where sea floor invertebrates and trilobites flourished in the tropical seas. An invertebrate is an Animal lacking a Vertebral column. The group includes 98% of all animal Species — all animals except those in the Chordate Trilobites ("three-lobes" are extinct Arthropods that form the class Trilobita. By the start of the Devonian period (416 mya), Gondwana was in more southern latitudes and the climate was cooler, though fossils of land plants are known from this time. The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic era spanning from to  million years ago. In Astronomy, Geology, and Paleontology, mya or " mya " is an abbreviation for "million years ago". Sand and silts were laid down in what is now the Ellsworth, Horlick and Pensacola Mountains. Sand is a naturally occurring Granular material composed of finely divided rock and Mineral particles Silt is Soil or rock derived Granular material of a Grain size between sand and clay The Ellsworth Mountains are the highest Mountain ranges in Antarctica, forming a 360 km (200 mi long and 48 km (30 mi wide chain of Mountains The Horlick Mountains are a Mountain range in the Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica, lying eastward of Reedy Glacier and including the The Pensacola Mountains in Antarctica are a large group of Mountain ranges and peaks extending 450 km (280 mi in a NE-SW direction comprising the Argentina Glaciation began at the end of the Devonian period (360 mya), as Gondwana became centered around the South Pole and the climate cooled, though flora remained. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. Antarctic flora is a distinct community of Vascular plants which evolved millions of years ago on the supercontinent of Gondwana, and is now found on several separate During the Permian period, the plant life became dominated by fern-like plants such as Glossopteris, which grew in swamps. The Permian is a geologic period and system that extends from 299 A fern is any one of a group of about 20000 Species of Plants classified in the phylum or division Pteridophyta, also known as Filicophyta Glossopteris ( Greek glossa (γλώσσα meaning "tongue" because the leaves were tongue-shaped is the largest and best-known Genus Over time these swamps became deposits of coal in the Transantarctic Mountains. The three largest mountain ranges on the Antarctic continent are the Transantarctic Mountains, the West Antarctica Ranges, and the East Antarctica Ranges. Towards the end of the Permian period, continued warming led to a dry, hot climate over much of Gondwana. 
As a result of continued warming, the polar ice caps melted and much of Gondwana became a desert. In East Antarctica, the seed fern became established, and large amounts of sandstone and shale were laid down at this time. Pteridospermatophyta, also called seed ferns, is an extinct Spermatophyte group of the Plantae kingdom. The Antarctic Peninsula began to form during the Jurassic period (206–146 mya), and islands gradually rose out of the ocean. The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Ma (million years ago to  Ma that is from the end of the Triassic to the beginning Ginkgo trees and cycads were plentiful during this period, as were reptiles such as Lystrosaurus. Ginkgo is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants with one extant species G Cycads are a group of Seed plants characterized by a large crown of compound leaves and a stout trunk. Lystrosaurus (meaning 'shovel lizard' pronunciation in ˌlɪstrɒˈsɔrəs was a Genus of Late Permian and Early Triassic Period In West Antarctica, coniferous forests dominated through the entire Cretaceous period (146–65 mya), though Southern beech began to take over at the end of this period. A forest is an area with a high density of Trees There are many definitions of a forest based on various criteria The Cretaceous (kriːˈteɪʃəs, usually abbreviated 'K' for its German translation "Kreide" is a geologic period and system, reaching from the end of Nothofagus, also known as the southern beeches, is a genus of about 35 Species of Trees and shrubs native to the temperate oceanic Ammonites were common in the seas around Antarctica, and dinosaurs were also present, though only two Antarctic dinosaur genera (Cryolophosaurus, from the Hanson Formation, and Antarctopelta) have been described to date. Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals of the subclass Ammonoidea in the class Cephalopoda phylum A genus (plural genera from Γένος Latin genus "descent family type gender" is a low-level Taxonomic Cryolophosaurus (ˌkraɪoʊˌlɒfoʊˈsɔrəs or /kraɪˌɒləfəˈsɔrəs/ meaning "cold crest lizard" was a large theropod Dinosaur, with The Mount Kirkpatrick Formation is one of only two major Dinosaur -bearing rock formations yet found on the continent of Antarctica; the other is the Santa Marta Antarctopelta (æntˌʔɑrktəˈpeltə or ant- ARK -to-PEL-ta meaning 'Antarctic shield' was a Genus of Ankylosaurian Dinosaur with  It was during this period that Gondwana began to break up.
The cooling of Antarctica occurred stepwise by the continental spread changing the oceanic currents from longitudinal equator-to-pole temperature-equalizing currents to latitudinal currents that preserved and accentuated latitude temperature differences.
Africa separated from Antarctica around 160 mya, followed by the Indian subcontinent, in the early Cretaceous (about 125 mya). This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia For geopolitical treatments see South Asia. About 65 mya, Antarctica (then connected to Australia) still had a tropical to subtropical climate, complete with a marsupial fauna. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Marsupials are an Infraclass of Mammals characterized by a distinctive pouch (called the marsupium) in which females carry their young through Fauna is all of the Animal life of any particular region or time About 40 mya Australia-New Guinea separated from Antarctica, so that latitudinal current could isolate Antarctica from Australia, and so the first ice began to appear. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. New Guinea, located just north of Australia, is the world's second largest island, having become separated from the Australian mainland when the area now known Around 23 mya, the Drake Passage opened between Antarctica and South America, which resulted in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces -Sea of " Hoces "- is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a The Antarctic Circumpolar Current ( ACC) is an Ocean current that flows from west to east around Antarctica. The ice spread, replacing the forests that then covered the continent. Since about 15 mya, the continent has been mostly covered with ice, with the Antarctic ice cap reaching its present extension around 6 mya.
The geological study of Antarctica has been greatly hindered by the fact that nearly all of the continent is permanently covered with a thick layer of ice. However, new techniques such as remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar and satellite imagery have begun to reveal the structures beneath the ice. Remote sensing is the small or large-scale acquisition of information of an object or phenomenon by the use of either recording or real-time sensing device(s that is not in physical Ground-penetrating radar ( GPR) is a geophysical method that uses Radar pulses to image the subsurface Satellite imagery consists of photographs of Earth or other planets made by means of Artificial satellites.
Geologically, West Antarctica closely resembles the Andes mountain range of South America. The Andes form the world's longest exposed Mountain range. They lie as a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America.  The Antarctic Peninsula was formed by uplift and metamorphism of sea bed sediments during the late Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic eras. The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, and almost the only part of that continent that extends outside the Antarctic Circle Metamorphism can be defined as the solid state recrystallisation of pre-existing rocks due to changes in heat and/or pressure and/or introduction of fluids i The Paleozoic or Palaeozoic Era (from the Greek palaio (παλαιο "old" and zoe (ζωη "life" meaning "ancient life" The Mesozoic Era is one of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. This sediment uplift was accompanied by igneous intrusions and volcanism. Igneous rocks (etymology from Latin ignis, fire are rocks formed by solidification of cooled Magma (molten rock Plate tectonics and hotspots Divergent plate boundaries At the The most common rocks in West Antarctica are andesite and rhyolite volcanics formed during the Jurassic period. For the extinct cephalopod genus see Andesites. Andesite (ˈændəsaɪt is an igneous, Volcanic rock, of intermediate This page is about a volcanic rock For the ghost town see Rhyolite Nevada, and for the satellite system see Rhyolite/Aquacade. There is also evidence of volcanic activity, even after the ice sheet had formed, in Marie Byrd Land and Alexander Island. Marie Byrd Land is the portion of Antarctica lying east of the Ross Ice Shelf and the Ross Sea and south of the Pacific Ocean, extending eastward Alexander Island or Alexander I Island or Alexander I Land or Alexander Land or Alexander The First Island or Isla Alejandro I The only anomalous area of West Antarctica is the Ellsworth Mountains region, where the stratigraphy is more similar to the eastern part of the continent. The Ellsworth Mountains are the highest Mountain ranges in Antarctica, forming a 360 km (200 mi long and 48 km (30 mi wide chain of Mountains Stratigraphy, a branch of Geology, studies rock layers and layering ( stratification)
East Antarctica is geologically very varied, dating from the Precambrian era, with some rocks formed more than 3 billion years ago. The Precambrian ( Pre-Cambrian) is an informal name for the supereon comprising the eons of the Geologic timescale that came before the current It is composed of a metamorphic and igneous platform which is the basis of the continental shield. Metamorphic rock is the result of the transformation of an existing rock type the protolith, in a process called Metamorphism, which means "change Igneous rocks (etymology from Latin ignis, fire are rocks formed by solidification of cooled Magma (molten rock A shield is generally a large area of exposed Precambrian Crystalline igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks that form tectonically On top of this base are various modern rocks, such as sandstones, limestones, coal and shales laid down during the Devonian and Jurassic periods to form the Transantarctic Mountains. Sandstone is a Sedimentary rock composed mainly of Sand -size Mineral or rock grains. Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 Shale (also called mudstone) is a fine-grained Sedimentary rock whose original constituents were Clay minerals or Muds It is characterized by The three largest mountain ranges on the Antarctic continent are the Transantarctic Mountains, the West Antarctica Ranges, and the East Antarctica Ranges. In coastal areas such as Shackleton Range and Victoria Land some faulting has occurred. The Shackleton Range is a Mountain range in Antarctica. Rising to, it extends in an east-west direction for about between the Slessor and Recovery Victoria Land is a region of Antarctica bounded on the east by the Ross Sea and on the west by Wilkes Land. In Geology a fault, or fault line, is a planar rock fracture which shows evidence of relative movement
The main mineral resource known on the continent is coal. A mineral is a naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition a highly ordered atomic structure and specific  It was first recorded near the Beardmore Glacier by Frank Wild on the Nimrod Expedition, and now low-grade coal is known across many parts of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Beardmore Glacier ( in Antarctica is one of the largest Glaciers in the world with a length exceeding 160 km (100 mi John Robert Francis Wild (born in 1873 in Skelton North Yorkshire to † 19 August 1939 in Klerksdorp, South Africa) known as The British Antarctic Expedition 1907&ndash09, otherwise known as the Nimrod Expedition, was the first of three expeditions to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton The Prince Charles Mountains contain significant deposits of iron ore. Prince Charles Mountains ( is a major group of Mountains in Mac Robertson Land in Antarctica, including the Athos Range, the Porthos Range Iron ores are rocks and Minerals from which Metallic Iron can be economically extracted The most valuable resources of Antarctica lie offshore, namely the oil and natural gas fields found in the Ross Sea in 1973. An oil field is a region with an abundance of Oil wells extracting Petroleum (crude oil from below ground Oil and Natural gas are produced by the same geological process anaerobic Decay of Organic matter deep under the Earth's surface NOAA Ross seajpg|thumb|200px|thumb|Ice in the Ross Sea Antarctica]] The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until the year 2048 by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. A ban (derived from Banishment) is generally any Decree that prohibits something The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also known as the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001 At the 3-kilometer (2 mi)-high Vostok Station in Antarctica, scientists recorded the world's lowest temperature: −89 °C (−129 °F).  For comparison, this is 11 degrees colder than sublimating dry ice. Dry ice is solid Carbon dioxide. It is commonly used as a versatile cooling agent Antarctica is a frozen desert with little precipitation; the South Pole itself receives less than 10 centimeters (4 in) per year, on average. In Meteorology, precipitation (also known as one class of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric Temperatures reach a minimum of between −80 °C and −90 °C (−112 °F and −130 °F) in the interior in winter and reach a maximum of between 5 °C and 15 °C (41 °F and 59 °F) near the coast in summer. Sunburn is often a health issue as the snow surface reflects almost all of the ultraviolet light falling on it.  Eastern Antarctica is colder than its western counterpart because of its higher elevation. Weather fronts rarely penetrate far into the continent, leaving the center cold and dry. A weather front is a boundary separating two masses of air of different densities, and is the principal cause of meteorological phenomena. Despite the lack of precipitation over the central portion of the continent, ice there lasts for extended time periods. Ice is a Solid phase, usually crystalline, of a Non-metalic substance that is liquid or gas at Room temperature, such as Ammonia Heavy snowfalls are not uncommon on the coastal portion of the continent, where snowfalls of up to 1. 22 meters (48 in) in 48 hours have been recorded.
At the edge of the continent, strong katabatic winds off the polar plateau often blow at storm force. In climbing a cornice is an overhanging edge of Snow on a ridge or the crest of a mountain which are built up by drifting snow A katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning "going downhill" is the technical name for a drainage Wind, a wind In the interior, however, wind speeds are typically moderate. During summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface during clear days at the South Pole than at the equator because of the 24 hours of sunlight each day at the Pole. The equator (sometimes referred to colloquially as "the Line") is the intersection of the Earth 's surface with the plane perpendicular to the 
Antarctica is colder than the Arctic for two reasons. The Arctic is the Region around the Earth 's North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. First, much of the continent is more than 3 kilometers (2 mi) above sea level, and temperature decreases with elevation. Second, the Arctic Ocean covers the north polar zone: the ocean's relative warmth is transferred through the icepack and prevents temperatures in the Arctic regions from reaching the extremes typical of the land surface of Antarctica. The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major
Given the latitude, long periods of constant darkness or constant sunlight create climates unfamiliar to human beings in much of the rest of the world. The aurora australis, commonly known as the southern lights, is a glow observed in the night sky near the South Pole created by the plasma-full solar winds that pass by the Earth. Another unique spectacle is diamond dust, a ground-level cloud composed of tiny ice crystals. Diamond dust is a ground-level Cloud composed of tiny Ice crystals It generally forms under otherwise clear or nearly clear skies, so people sometimes also refer to it as clear-sky precipitation. A sun dog, a frequent atmospheric optical phenomenon, is a bright "spot" beside the true sun. A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for "beside the sun" is a common bright circular spot on a solar An optical phenomenon is any observable event which results from the interaction of Light and Matter. The Sun (Sol is the Star at the center of the Solar System. 
Antarctica has no permanent residents, but a number of governments maintain permanent research stations throughout the continent. Antarctica has no indigenous inhabitants but there are permanently- and seasonally-staffed research stations and former Whaling settlements A research station is a station built for the purpose of conducting research on a given site or aspects of the site The number of people conducting and supporting scientific research and other work on the continent and its nearby islands varies from about 4,000 in summer to about 1,000 in winter. Many of the stations are staffed year-round.
The first semi-permanent inhabitants of regions near Antarctica (areas situated south of the Antarctic Convergence) were British and American sealers who used to spend a year or more on South Georgia, from 1786 onward. The Antarctic Convergence, better known as the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone (or "Polar Front" for short is a line encircling Antarctica where cold northward-flowing South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ( SGSSI) is a British overseas territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. During the whaling era, which lasted until 1966, the population of that island varied from over 1,000 in the summer (over 2,000 in some years) to some 200 in the winter. Whaling is the hunting of Whales and dates back to at least 6000 BC Most of the whalers were Norwegian, with an increasing proportion of Britons. The settlements included Grytviken, Leith Harbour, King Edward Point, Stromness, Husvik, Prince Olav Harbour, Ocean Harbour and Godthul. Grytviken ( Swedish for 'Pot Cove' is the principal settlement in the United Kingdom territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic You may be looking for Leith, the port of Edinburgh Scotland Leith Harbour ( was a Whaling station up on the northeast coast King Edward Point (Also known as KEP is a Promontory and settlement with port facilities ( Wharf) on the northeastern coast of the island of South Georgia Stromness ( is a former Whaling station on the northern coast of South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic Husvik is a former whaling station on the north-central coast of South Georgia Island. Prince Olav Harbour ( is a derelict norwegian whaling station operational from 1911 until 1931 and a small harbour in the southwest portion of Cook Bay, entered between Ocean Harbour ( is a deeply indented Bay on the north coast of South Georgia which is entered 1 Godthul ( is a Bay 1 mile (16 km) long entered between Cape George and Long Point, on the north coast of South Georgia Managers and other senior officers of the whaling stations often lived together with their families. Among them was the founder of Grytviken, Captain Carl Anton Larsen, a prominent Norwegian whaler and explorer who, along with his family, adopted British citizenship in 1910. Grytviken ( Swedish for 'Pot Cove' is the principal settlement in the United Kingdom territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic Carl Anton Larsen (1860 &ndash 1924 was a Norwegian mariner and Antarctic explorer and the founder of Grytviken, South Georgia
The first child born in the southern polar region was Norwegian girl Solveig Gunbjörg Jacobsen, born in Grytviken on 8 October 1913, and her birth was registered by the resident British Magistrate of South Georgia. Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen (born 8 October 1913) was the first person born south of the Antarctic Convergence. Events 314 - Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses Year 1913 ( MCMXIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common She was a daughter of Fridthjof Jacobsen, the assistant manager of the whaling station, and of Klara Olette Jacobsen. Jacobsen arrived on the island in 1904 to become the manager of Grytviken, serving from 1914 to 1921; two of his children were born on the island. Grytviken ( Swedish for 'Pot Cove' is the principal settlement in the United Kingdom territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic 
Emilio Marcos Palma was the first person born on the Antarctic mainland, at Base Esperanza in 1978; his parents were sent there along with seven other families by the Argentinean government to determine if family life was suitable on the continent. Emilio Marcos Palma (born January 7, 1978) was the first known person to be born on the continent of Antarctica; farther south than any other human The Argentine Base Esperanza ( Spanish "Hope Base" is located at, Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. In 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho was born at the Frei Montalva Station, becoming the first Chilean born in Antarctica. Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva is the most important Antarctic base of Chile and one of the most important ones in Antarctica. Several bases are now home to families with children attending schools at the station. 
The climate of Antarctica does not allow extensive vegetation. A combination of freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, lack of moisture, and lack of sunlight inhibit the flourishing of plants. Soil, often typeset as SOiL, is a four piece rock band from Chicago Illinois United States founded by Shaun Glass Tom Schofield Tim King and Adam Zadel As a result, plant life is limited to mostly mosses and liverworts. Mosses are small soft Plants that are typically 1–10  cm (0 The Marchantiophyta are a division of Bryophyte Plants commonly referred to as hepatics or liverworts. The autotrophic community is made up of mostly protists. An autotroph (from the Greek autos = self and trophe = nutrition is an Organism that produces complex Organic compounds from simple Protists (ˈproʊtɨst are a diverse group of eukaryotic Microorganisms Historically protists were treated as the kingdom Protista but this The flora of the continent largely consists of lichens, bryophytes, algae, and fungi. In Botany, flora ( Plural: floras or florae has two meanings The first meaning flora of an area or of time period, refers to all Lichens (ˈlaɪkən or /lɪtʃən/ are symbiotic associations of a Fungus (the mycobiont with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as Bryophytes are all Embryophytes ('land Plants) that are non-vascular: they have tissues and enclosed reproductive systems but they lack Vascular tissue Algae ( sing. alga are a large and diverse group of simple typically Autotrophic organisms ranging from Unicellular to Multicellular forms A fungus (ˈfʌŋgəs is a eukaryotic Organism that is a member of the kingdom Fungi (ˈfʌndʒaɪ Growth generally occurs in the summer, and only for a few weeks at most.
There are more than 200 species of lichens and about 50 species of bryophytes, such as mosses. Seven hundred species of algae exist, most of which are phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are the Autotrophic component of the Plankton community Multicolored snow algae and diatoms are especially abundant in the coastal regions during the summer. Snow algae describes cold-tolerant Algae and Cyanobacteria that grow on Snow and Ice during alpine and polar summers Diatoms ( Greek: (dia = "through" + (temnein = "to cut" i There are two species of flowering plants found in the Antarctic Peninsula: Deschampsia antarctica (Antarctic hair grass) and Colobanthus quitensis (Antarctic pearlwort). Deschampsia antarctica ( Antarctic hair grass) is one of two flowering plants native to Antarctica, the other being Colobanthus quitensis Colobanthus quitensis ( Antarctic pearlwort) is one of the two Flowering plants found in the Antarctic region along with Deschampsia 
Land fauna is nearly completely invertebrate. Fauna is all of the Animal life of any particular region or time An invertebrate is an Animal lacking a Vertebral column. The group includes 98% of all animal Species — all animals except those in the Chordate Invertebrate life includes microscopic mites, lice, nematodes, tardigrades, rotifers, krill and springtails. Microscopic is a term used to describe objects smaller than those that can easily be seen by the naked Eye and which require a lens or Microscope to see Mites, along with Ticks belong to the subclass Acarina (also known as Acari and the class Arachnida Mites are among the most diverse and successful Lice (singular louse) ( order Phthiraptera) are an order of over 3000 Species of wingless Insects three of which are classified The nematodes or roundworms ( Phylum Nematoda from Greek (nema "thread" + -ode "like" are one of the most common Tardigrades (commonly known as water bears) form the Phylum Tardigrada, part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. The rotifers make up a Phylum of microscopic and near-microscopic pseudocoelomate Animals They were first described by Rev Krill are a type of Shrimp -like marine Invertebrate animal These small Crustaceans are important organisms of the Zooplankton, particularly Springtails ( Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern hexapods that are no longer considered Insects (the other two are the The flightless midge Belgica antarctica, just 12 millimeters (0. Midges comprise many kinds of very small two-winged flies The term does not encapsulate a well-defined taxonomic group but includes animals in several families of Nematoceran Belgica antarctica is a species of flightless midge endemic to the continent of Antarctica. 5 in) in size, is the largest purely terrestrial animal in Antarctica. The Snow Petrel is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica. The Snow Petrel ( Pagodroma nivea) is a small pure white Fulmarine petrel with black underdown coal-black eyes small black bill and bluish gray feet They have been seen at the South Pole. The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth.
Due to the extreme cold, the body fluids of tiny mites and midges in Antarctica contain glycerol, an antifreeze liquid that protects them from solidifying when temperatures plummet to as low as −34 °C (−30 °F). 
A variety of marine animals exist and rely, directly or indirectly, on the phytoplankton. Antarctic sea life includes penguins, blue whales, orcas and fur seals. Penguins ( order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless Birds living almost The Blue Whale ( Balaenoptera musculus) is a Marine mammal belonging to the suborder of Baleen whales (called Mysticeti The Orca or Killer Whale ( Orcinus orca) less commonly Blackfish or Seawolf, is the largest species of the Oceanic dolphin family Fur seals are any of nine species of Pinnipeds in the Otariidae family The Emperor penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica, while the Adélie Penguin breeds farther south than any other penguin. The Emperor Penguin ( Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living Penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The Adélie Penguin ( Pygoscelis adeliae) is a type of Penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast and nearby islands The Rockhopper penguin has distinctive feathers around the eyes, giving the appearance of elaborate eyelashes. The Southern Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome, is a Species of Penguin. King penguins, Chinstrap penguins, and Gentoo Penguins also breed in the Antarctic. The King Penguin ( Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second largest species of Penguin at about 90 cm (3 ft tall and weighing 11 to 16 kg (24 to The Chinstrap Penguin ( Pygoscelis antarcticus) is a species of Penguin which is found in the South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica the South Orkneys The Gentoo Penguin (ˈdʒɛntuː Pygoscelis papua, is easily recognized by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of its head
The Antarctic fur seal was very heavily hunted in the 18th and 19th centuries for its pelt by sealers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The Antarctic Fur Seal ( Arctocephalus gazella) is one of eight seals in the genus Arctocephalus, and one of the nine fur seals in the family The Weddell Seal, a "true seal", is named after Sir James Weddell, commander of British sealing expeditions in the Weddell Sea. The Weddell Seal ( Leptonychotes weddellii) is a True seal that occurs in large numbers and inhabit the circumpolar region of the Southern hemisphere, including The true seals or earless seals are one of the three main groups of Mammals within the seal Suborder, Pinnipedia. James Weddell ( August 24, 1787 - September 9, 1834) was an English Navigator, sealer and explorer of the Antarctic. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean. Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula Antarctic krill, which congregates in large schools, is the keystone species of the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean, and is an important food organism for whales, seals, leopard seals, fur seals, squid, icefish, penguins, albatrosses and many other birds. Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) is a Species of Krill found in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean. The SWARM Remote Weapon System (Stabilised Weapon And Reconnaissance Mount is a fully armored Remote weapon system designed and built by the Thales Group in A keystone species is a Species that has a disproportionate effect on its environment relative to its abundance An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants animals and micro-organisms( Biotic factors in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical ( The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of The Leopard seal ( Hydrurga leptonyx) is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the Southern Elephant Seal) and is near the top Squid are marine Cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species Icefish may mean Notothenioidei, a suborder of mostly bottom-dwelling fish of the Southern Ocean Salangidae, a family of smaller freshwater Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large Seabirds allied to the procellariids, Storm-petrels and Diving-petrels 
The passing of the Antarctic Conservation Act in the U. The Antarctic Conservation Act, enacted in 1978 by the 95th United States Congress ( is a United States federal law that addresses the issue of Environmental S. brought several restrictions to U. S. activity on the continent. The introduction of alien plants or animals can bring a criminal penalty, as can the extraction of any indigenous species. The overfishing of krill, which plays a large role in the Antarctic ecosystem, led officials to enact regulations on fishing. Overfishing occurs when Fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level For the computer security term see Phishing. Fishing is the activity of catching Fish. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), a treaty that came into force in 1980, requires that regulations managing all Southern Ocean fisheries consider potential effects on the entire Antarctic ecosystem.  Despite these new acts, unregulated and illegal fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish (marketed as Chilean Sea Bass in the U. The Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides is a fish found S. ), remains a serious problem. The illegal fishing of toothfish has been increasing, with estimates of 32,000 tonnes (35,300 short tons) in 2000. This article is about the tonne or metric ton For other tons see Ton. 
Antarctica has no government and belongs to no country. Various countries claim areas of it, but while some have mutually recognized each other's claims, no other countries recognize such claims. The area between 90° W and 150° W is the only part of Antarctica not claimed by any country as of yet. 
Since 1959, new claims on Antarctica have been suspended and the continent is considered politically neutral. Its status is regulated by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and other related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System. The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate International relations with respect to The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate International relations with respect to For the purposes of the Treaty System, Antarctica is defined as all land and ice shelves south of 60° S. An ice shelf is a thick floating platform of ice that forms where a Glacier or Ice sheet flows down to a Coastline and onto the ocean surface The treaty was signed by twelve countries, including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, and the United States. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the It set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation, environmental protection, and banned military activity on that continent. This was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Arms control is an umbrella term for restrictions upon the development production stockpiling Proliferation, and usage of Weapons especially Weapons of mass Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the
In 1983, the Antarctic Treaty Parties began negotiations on a convention to regulate mining in Antarctica.  A coalition of international organisations launched a public pressure campaign to prevent any minerals development in the region, led largely by Greenpeace International which established its own scientific station – World Park Base - in the Ross Sea region and conducted annual expeditions to document environmental impacts from human activities on the continent. Greenpeace, originally known as the Greenpeace Foundation, was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1972 World Park Base was a non-governmental year-round Antarctic base located on Ross Island in the Ross Dependency.  In 1988, the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources (CRAMRA) was adopted.  The following year, however, Australia and France announced that they would not ratify the convention, rendering it dead for all intents and purposes. Instead, they proposed that a comprehensive regime to protect the Antarctic environment be negotiated in its place.  As other countries followed suit, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the ‘Madrid Protocol’) was negotiated and on January 14, 1998 it entered into force. Events 1129 - Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar)  The Madrid Protocol bans all mining activities in Antarctica, designating the continent as a ‘natural reserve devoted to peace and science’.
The Antarctic Treaty prohibits any military activity in Antarctica, such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military manoeuvers, or the testing of any type of weapon. As Antarctica has never been permanently settled by humans there has historically been little military activity in the Antarctic. Military personnel or equipment are permitted only for scientific research or for other peaceful purposes.  The only documented land military manoeuvre was Operation NINETY, undertaken by the Argentine military. Operación 90 ( Operation NINETY) was the first Argentine ground expedition to the South Pole, conducted in 1965, by 10 soldiers of the Argentine Army 
The United States military issues the Antarctica Service Medal to military members or civilians who perform research duty in Antarctica. The United States Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States The Antarctica Service Medal was established by the United States Congress on July 7, 1960 under Public Law 600 of the 86th Congress. The medal includes a "wintered over" bar issued to those who remain on the continent for two complete six-month seasons. 
|1908||United Kingdom||British Antarctic Territory||to|
|1923||New Zealand||Ross Dependency||to|
|1929||Norway||Peter I Island|
|1933||Australia||Australian Antarctic Territory||to|
|1939||Norway||Queen Maud Land|
|1940||Chile||Antarctic Chilean Territory||to|
|None||Unclaimed territory (Marie Byrd Land)|| to |
(except the Peter I Island)
The Argentine, British and Chilean claims all overlap, and have caused friction. This is an alphabetical list of Antarctic territories and territorial claims. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The British Antarctic Territory is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island The Ross Dependency comprises an area of Antarctica (and other land masses in the Southern Ocean) claimed by New Zealand. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Adélie Land is the portion of the Antarctic coast between Pourquoi Pas Point at and Point Alden at, with a shore length of 350 km and with its hinterland Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Peter I Island (in Norwegian Peter I Øy) is a volcanic Island located near Antarctica. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Australian Antarctic Territory ( AAT) is the part of Antarctica claimed by Australia and is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Queen Maud Land is an English translation of Dronning Maud Land, the official name in use by Norwegian authorities and British Antarctic Survey on the part of Chile, officially the Republic of Chile ( Spanish:) is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow Coastal strip wedged between the Permanent Chilean stations and settlements The largest population center is located on King George Island and consists of Frei Montalva Station, which has an For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. Argentine bases Esperanza and Marambio are the biggest Argentine bases holding together 70 buildings an average of 110 persons during the winter and over Marie Byrd Land is the portion of Antarctica lying east of the Ross Ice Shelf and the Ross Sea and south of the Pacific Ocean, extending eastward Peter I Island (in Norwegian Peter I Øy) is a volcanic Island located near Antarctica. Australia has the greatest claim of Antarctic territory. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics.
This group of countries participating as members of advisory Antarctica Treaty, have an interest in the territorial Antarctic continent but Antarctica provisions of the Treaty itself can not make their claims while the period of validity. 
Similarly Russia and the United States, original signatories of the Treaty reserved their right to claim at any time if other countries enforce their own. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America. The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Germany also maintained a claim to Antarctica, known as New Swabia, between 1939 and 1945. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. New Swabia (Neuschwabenland is a section of the continent Antarctica between 20°E and 10°W (overlapping a portion of Norway's claim zone Queen Maud Land) It was situated from to , overlapping Norway's claim. The claim was abandoned after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Although coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, gold and other minerals have been found, they have not been in large enough quantities to exploit. In Organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an Organic compound consisting entirely of Hydrogen and Carbon. Iron ores are rocks and Minerals from which Metallic Iron can be economically extracted Platinum (ˈplætɪnəm is a Chemical element with the Atomic symbol Pt and an Atomic number of 78 Copper (ˈkɒpɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol Cu (cuprum and Atomic number 29 Chromium (ˈkroʊmiəm is a Chemical element which has the symbol Cr and Atomic number 24 Nickel (ˈnɪkəl is a metallic Chemical element with the symbol Ni and Atomic number 28 Gold (ˈɡoʊld is a Chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and Atomic number 79 The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty also restricts a struggle for resources. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, also known as the Antarctic-Environmental Protocol is part of the Antarctic Treaty System. In 1998, a compromise agreement was reached to place an indefinite ban on mining, to be reviewed in 2048, further limiting economic development and exploitation. The primary agricultural activity is the capture and offshore trading of fish. Antarctic fisheries in 2000–01 reported landing 112,934 tonnes. 
Small-scale "expedition tourism" has existed since 1957 and is currently subject to Antarctic Treaty and Environmental Protocol provisions, but in effect self-regulated by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). Tourism is Travel for Recreational or Leisure purposes The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO was originally founded in 1991 by seven companies Not all vessels associated with Antarctic tourism are members of IAATO, but IAATO members account for 95% of the tourist activity. Travel is largely by small or medium ship, focusing on specific scenic locations with accessible concentrations of iconic wildlife. A ship /ʃɪp/ is a large vessel that floats on water Ships are generally distinguished from Boats based on size A total of 37,506 tourists visited during the 2006–07 Austral summer with nearly all of them coming from commercial ships. Southern Hemisphere is the half of a Planet that is South of the Equator —the word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' The number is predicted to increase to over 80,000 by 2010.  There has been some recent concern over the potential adverse environmental and ecosystem effects caused by the influx of visitors. A call for stricter regulations for ships and a tourism quota have been made by some environmentalists and scientists.  The primary response by Antarctic Treaty Parties has been to develop, through their Committee for Environmental Protection and in partnership with IAATO, "site use guidelines" setting landing limits and closed or restricted zones on the more frequently visited sites. Antarctic sight seeing flights (which did not land) operated out of Australia and New Zealand until the fatal crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 in 1979 on Mount Erebus, which killed all 257 aboard. Air New Zealand Flight 901 (TE901 was a scheduled Antarctic sightseeing flight from Auckland International Airport in New Zealand Mount Erebus in Antarctica is the southernmost active Volcano on Earth Qantas resumed commercial overflights to Antarctica from Australia in the mid-1990s. Qantas Airways Limited (ˈkwɔntəs ( is the National airline of Australia.
Transport on the continent has transformed from explorers crossing the isolated remote area of Antarctica on foot to a more open area due to human technologies enabling more convenient and faster transport by land and predominantly air and water. Transport in Antarctica has transformed from heroic explorers crossing the isolated remote area of Antarctica by foot to a more open area due to human technologies Recently, using dogs to pull researchers and sledges have been banned. Because they are aliens to Antarctica, there have been objections. Now being used are new electric buggies, but these have a down side. The dogs were excellent for sensing crevices and thin ice, but these new buggies cannot.
Each year, scientists from 27 different nations conduct experiments not reproducible in any other place in the world. A number of governments maintain permanent Research stations throughout Antarctica. In scientific inquiry an experiment ( Latin: Ex- periri, "to try out" is a method of investigating particular types of research questions or In the summer more than 4,000 scientists operate research stations; this number decreases to nearly 1,000 in the winter. A research station is a station built for the purpose of conducting research on a given site or aspects of the site  McMurdo Station is capable of housing more than 1,000 scientists, visitors, and tourists. McMurdo Station is an American Antarctic research center located on the southern tip of Ross Island on the shore of McMurdo Sound, 2200
Researchers include biologists, geologists, oceanographers, physicists, astronomers, glaciologists, and meteorologists. Foundations of modern biology There are five unifying principles Geology (from Greek γη gê, "earth" and λόγος Logos, "speech" lit Oceanography (from the greek words Ωκεανός meaning Ocean and γράφω meaning to write also called oceanology or Physics (Greek Physis - φύσις in everyday terms is the Science of Matter and its motion. Astronomy (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον "star" and nomos (νόμος "law" is the scientific study Glaciology (from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal glace, "ice" or Latin glacies, "frost ice" and Greek λόγος Meteorology (from Greek grc μετέωρος metéōros, "high in the sky" and grc -λογία -logia) is the Interdisciplinary Geologists tend to study plate tectonics, meteorites from outer space, and resources from the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland. Plate tectonics (from Greek τέκτων tektōn "builder" or "mason" describes the large scale motions of Earth 's Lithosphere Outer space, often simply called space, comprises the relatively empty regions of the Universe outside the escape velocities of Celestial bodies. Gondwana (ɡɒnˈdwɑːnə originally Gondwanaland) was a southern Supercontinent that existed about 500 to 200 Ma ago Glaciologists in Antarctica are concerned with the study of the history and dynamics of floating ice, seasonal snow, glaciers, and ice sheets. Ice sheet dynamics describe the motion within large bodies of ice, such those currently on Greenland and Antarctica. Ice is a Solid phase, usually crystalline, of a Non-metalic substance that is liquid or gas at Room temperature, such as Ammonia "Snowfall" redirects here For other uses see Snow (disambiguation or Snowfall (disambiguation. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. An ice sheet is a mass of Glacier Ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50000 km² (20000 mile²) Biologists, in addition to examining the wildlife, are interested in how harsh temperatures and the presence of people affect adaptation and survival strategies in a wide variety of organisms. Medical physicians have made discoveries concerning the spreading of viruses and the body's response to extreme seasonal temperatures. Astrophysicists at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station study the celestial dome and cosmic microwave background radiation. Description and history The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is the southernmost continually inhabited place on the planet Many astronomical observations are better made from the interior of Antarctica than from most surface locations because of the high elevation, which results in a thin atmosphere, and low temperature, which minimizes the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, thus allowing for a view of space clearer than anywhere else on Earth. Antarctic ice serves as both the shield and the detection medium for the largest neutrino telescope in the world, built 2 kilometers below Amundsen-Scott station. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a Neutrino Telescope currently under construction at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. 
Since the 1970s, an important focus of study has been the ozone layer in the atmosphere above Antarctica. The photochemical mechanisms that give rise to the ozone layer were worked out by the British physicist Sidney Chapman in 1930 An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, " Vapor " + σφαίρα - sphaira, " Sphere " In 1985, three British Scientists working on data they had gathered at Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf discovered the existence of a hole in this layer. Halley Research Station, run by the British Antarctic Survey, is located on the Brunt Ice Shelf floating on the Weddell Sea in Antarctica The Brunt Ice Shelf borders the Antarctic coast of Coats Land between Dawson-Lambton Glacier and Stancomb-Wills Glacier Tongue In 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole was the largest on record, covering 27 million km² (10 million sq mi). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related observations a slow steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of Ozone in Earth's It was eventually determined that the destruction of the ozone was caused by chlorofluorocarbons emitted by human products. The haloalkanes (also known as halogenoalkanes or alkyl halides) are a group of Chemical compounds consisting of Alkanes such as Methane With the ban of CFCs in the Montreal Protocol of 1989, it is believed that the ozone hole will close up over the next fifty years. For other similarly-named agreements see Montreal Convention (disambiguation.
On September 6, 2007, Belgian-based International Polar Foundation unveiled the Princess Elisabeth station, the world's first zero-emissions polar science station in Antarctica to research climate change. Events 3114 BC - According to the Proleptic Julian calendar the current era in the Maya Long Count Calendar started Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Prinses Elisabeth Base located on Dronning Maud Land ( is a Belgian polar station currently under construction due to be finished by the end of 2008. Research is defined as Human activity based on Intellectual application in the investigation of Matter. Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences Costing $16. 3 million, the prefabricated station, which is part of International Polar Year will be shipped to the South Pole from Belgium by the end of 2008 to monitor the health of the polar regions. Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a Structure in a Factory or other Manufacturing site and Transporting complete The International Polar Year (or IPY) is a collaborative international effort researching the Polar regions Karl Weyprecht, an Austro-Hungarian naval The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. Health is a state of complete physical mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity Belgian polar explorer Alain Hubert has stated: "This base will be the first of its kind to produce zero emissions, making it a unique model of how energy should be used in the Antarctic. " Johan Berte is the leader of the station design team and manager of the project which will conduct research in climatology, glaciology and microbiology. Climatology (from Greek grc κλίμα klima, "region zone" and grc -λογία -logia) is the study of Climate, scientifically Glaciology (from Middle French dialect (Franco-Provençal glace, "ice" or Latin glacies, "frost ice" and Greek λόγος Microbiology (from Greek grc μῑκρος mīkros, "small" grc βίος bios, " Life " and grc -λογία 
Meteorites from Antarctica are an important area of study of material formed early in the solar system; most are thought to come from asteroids, but some may have originated on larger planets. A meteorite is a natural object originating in Outer space that survives an impact with the Earth 's surface The Solar System consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by Gravity. Asteroids, sometimes called Minor planets or planetoids', are bodies—primarily of the inner Solar System —that are smaller than planets but A planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU is a celestial body Orbiting a Star or stellar remnant that is The first meteorites were found in 1912. In 1969, a Japanese expedition discovered nine meteorites. Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last million years. An ice sheet is a mass of Glacier Ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50000 km² (20000 mile²) Motion of the ice sheet tends to concentrate the meteorites at blocking locations such as mountain ranges, with wind erosion bringing them to the surface after centuries beneath accumulated snowfall. Compared with meteorites collected in more temperate regions on Earth, the Antarctic meteorites are well-preserved. 
This large collection of meteorites allows a better understanding of the abundance of meteorite types in the solar system and how meteorites relate to asteroids and comets. New types of meteorites and rare meteorites have been found. Among these are pieces blasted off the Moon, and probably Mars, by impacts. These specimens, particularly ALH84001 discovered by ANSMET, are at the center of the controversy about possible evidence of microbial life on Mars. ALH 84001 (full name Allan Hills 84001) is a Meteorite found in Allan Hills, Antarctica in December 1984 by a team of US meteorite hunters from ANSMET ( AN tarctic S earch for MET eorites is a program funded by the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation that looks for Because meteorites in space absorb and record cosmic radiation, the time elapsed since the meteorite hit the Earth can be determined from laboratory studies. The elapsed time since fall, or terrestrial residence age, of a meteorite represents more information that might be useful in environmental studies of Antarctic ice sheets. 
In 2006, a team of researchers from Ohio State University used gravity measurements by NASA's GRACE satellites to discover the 300-mile (480 km)-wide Wilkes Land crater, which probably formed about 250 million years ago. The Ohio State University ( OSU) is a Coeducational public Research university in the state of Ohio. The goal of the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment ( GRACE) space mission is to obtain accurate global and high-resolution determination of both the static and the time-variable Wilkes Land crater is an informal term that may apply to two separate cases of conjectured giant Impact craters hidden beneath the Ice cap of Wilkes Land 
On January, 2008, the British Antarctic Survey (Bas) scientists led by Hugh Corr and David Vaughan, reported (in the journal Nature Geoscience) that 2,200 years ago, a volcano erupted under Antarctica ice sheet (based on airborne survey with radar images). The British Antarctic Survey (BAS is the United Kingdom 's national Antarctic operator and has an active role in Antarctic affairs Nature Geoscience is a Scientific journal published by Nature Publishing Group, publisher of the flagship journal Nature. Plate tectonics and hotspots Divergent plate boundaries At the The biggest eruption in the last 10,000 years, the volcanic ash was found deposited on the ice surface under the Hudson Mountains, close to Pine Island Glacier. The Hudson Mountains is a group of parasitic cones forming Nunataks just above the Antarctic ice sheet in west Ellsworth Land. Pine Island Glacier is a broad Glacier flowing west-northwest along the south side of the Hudson Mountains into Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea 
Most of the continent's icy mass has so far proven largely impervious to climate change, being situated on solid rock; its deep interior is actually growing in volume. Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences  However, Antarctica's periphery has been noticeably affected by global warming, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and in Pine Island Bay which together are contributing to a rise in sea levels. Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica, and almost the only part of that continent that extends outside the Antarctic Circle Pine Island Bay ( is a bay about 40 miles (65 km long and 30 miles (50 km wide into which flows the ice of the Pine Island Glacier at the southeast extremity  In 2003 the Larsen-B ice shelf collapsed owing to global warming. The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long fringing Ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of Antarctic Peninsula from  According to NASA, the most significant Antarctic melting in the past 30 years occurred in 2005, when a mass of ice comparable in size to California briefly melted and refroze; this may have resulted from temperatures rising to as high as 5 °C (41 °F). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean.  Also, although having no obvious effect on the continent's environment, there is a large ozone hole over Antarctica which was detected by scientists in 1973 and continues to grow to this day. Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related observations a slow steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of Ozone in Earth's The main cause is the emission of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs into the atmosphere, which decompose the ozone into other gasses. Air pollution is the human introduction into the atmosphere of Chemicals Particulate matter, or Biological materials that cause harm or discomfort The haloalkanes (also known as halogenoalkanes or alkyl halides) are a group of Chemical compounds consisting of Alkanes such as Methane An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, " Vapor " + σφαίρα - sphaira, " Sphere " OZONE is an object oriented Operating system written in the C programming language. For more on the ozone hole, see Ozone depletion. Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related observations a slow steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of Ozone in Earth's
A bridge made of ice based on the Leonardo da Vinci draft plans for a bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul was built in Antarctica in 2007. This project was a plea to the world to stop the causes of global warming in the hope that the "Leonardo Bridge" in Antarctica remains standing forever. (A similar ice bridge had been constructed in the garden of United Nations on 15 December 2007 for the purpose of demonstrating global warming. Events 533 - Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. That bridge melted fully on Christmas Day 2007. )
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. Events 202 BC - coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty 's rule Events 1618 - Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Wilkins Sound is a seaway in Antarctica that is largely occupied by the Wilkins Ice Shelf. The ice is being held back by a "thread" of ice about 6 km wide. 
The Open Directory Project ( ODP) also known as dmoz (from directory The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress