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Coldest and Windiest Place on Earth

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Coldest and Windiest Place on Earth

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  • March 2006
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Antarctica, also known as the "coldest and windiest place on earth", is home to the lowest temperature ever recorded at –89.2 degree Celsius. With historic winds recorded at speeds over three hundred and twenty miles per hour, this area is unbearable for almost all habitats. Most commonly recognized as the fifth largest continent on this planet, this giant freezing mass is place over the South Pole with a total surface area of about fifteen million square kilometers. However, this figure fluctuates depending on the season, for example; it is approximately fourteen and a half million square kilometers in the summer. Yet compared to other continents such as the United States, it's shy of almost half as big.

Divided into two major areas, which are: East Antarctica and Western Antarctica, this continent is predominantly covered with ice through out the year with only one percent of its surface area that is not. The range of mountains called the Transantarctic Mountains splits these two areas up stretching through out the vast area of this continent. There are also many speculations on how this enormous area compares to complete opposite climatic areas such as deserts. But there are chief evidences that have been brought up in the past that link those two together. In fact, according to the author of the book, "The Lonely Planet Antarctica", Jeff Rubin characterizes this isolated area as a desert. In his definition, backed by other geological experts, a particular area with "an average annual precipitation rate of 50mm" is considered a desert. Antarctica's AAP falls under that category, only 2 mm shy of the Sahara desert. The difference between the desert and the icy continent is that there is very little evaporation, so the snow is piled up over years to amount to high, mountains covered with icy sheets.

One of the most surprising facts I came across while doing this research is the presence of volcanic activities in this area. Discovered in 1841 by James Ross,...