Quick Antarctic Statistics

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    Baz Gray

    QUICK ANTARCTIC STATISTICS

    antarctica map

    Area

    13,829,430 km2
    5,339,543 miles2

    1.4 x bigger than the USA
    58 x bigger than the UK
    1.8 x bigger than Australia

    Ice-free area (0.32% of total)

    44,890 km2
    17,330 miles2

    Largest Ice Shelves

    Ross ice shelf:
    (about the size of France)
    510,680 km2
    197,974 miles2

    Ronne-Filchner ice shelf:
    (about the size of Spain)
    439,920 km2
    169,850 miles2

    Mountains

    Transantarctic Mountain chain, length:


    3,300 km
    2,050 miles

    Highest 3 mountains:

    Mt. Vinson – 4,892 m / 16,050 ft
    (sometimes called “Vinson Massif”)
    Mt. Tyree – 4,852 m / 15,918 ft
    Mt. Shinn – 4,661 m / 15,292 ft

    Ice

    Antarctica has 70% of all the world’s freshwater frozen as ice – and 90% of all the world’s ice.

    THICKNESS

    Mean
    1,829 m / 6,000 ft
    Mean thickness East Antarctica:
    2,226 m / 7,300 ft
    Mean thickness West Antarctica:
    1,306 m / 4,285 ft

    Maximum ice thickness:
    4,776 m / 15,670ft

    Lowest point:

    Bentley subglacial trench, depth below sea-level
    2,496 m / 8,188 ft


    Population

    About 4,000 on scientific bases in the short summer 1,000 total in winter, around 30,000-40,000 summer tourists – and this place is 1.4 x bigger than the USA! There are NO permanent residents and NEVER has been a native population

    Population density = 0.00007 winter / 0.00028 summer per km2
    World average = 54
    Greenland (next lowest) = 0.03

    Discovery and Exploration

    Antarctica was imagined by the ancient Greeks, but not even seen until 1820.

    The first time anyone set foot on Antarctica was in 1821.

    The first year-round occupation – overwintering – was in 1898.

    The South Pole was first reached in 1911.

    Climate

    3 factors rule in Antarctica – cold, wind and altitude. Antarctica holds the world record for each of these three things.

    The temperature falls as you leave the coast as the continent slopes upwards and temperature falls as you go higher.

    Temperature:

    Lowest recoded on earth – Vostok station -89.2°C / -128.6°F

    Average summer temperature at South Pole -27.5°C / -17.5°F

    Average winter temperature at South Pole -60°C / -76°F

    Wind:

    Mawson station in Antarctica is the windiest place on earth.
    Average wind speed:
    37 kmh / 23 mph

    Maximum recorded gust:
    248.4 kmh / 154 mph

    Landforms

    Antarctica has many land forms

    glacier
    desert
    mountain
    plain
    plateau
    valley
    nunatak

    Source: http://www.coolantarctica.com

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