The geography of Antarctica is like most countries, it has two main parts which are the east and the west. The west of Antarctica is an extended part of the Andres mountain range and this means that 99% of Antarctica is pure ice which also means that in Antarctica there is 70% of the worlds water supply. It is very mountainous with a low point of 2499m and a high point of 4897m. This very mountainous landscape is part of the reason for Antarctica being so cold. The winds and cold air hits the middle of Antarctica and as it is very high here travels down all across Antarctica so this provides a wind chill. Also as you can see from the picture at the top when the solar radiation from the sun hits the southern part of the world it has to cover a larger space than in the middle. This means the heat is spread out which means less heat for Antarctica so this is also another reason why it is so cold in Antarctica. This sun that does reach Antarctica doesn’t even make much use, you may see a picture of a sunny Antarctica which it often is but it is not hot. The Albedo is a measure of how reflective a surface is and is measured from 0 (no radiation reflect to 1 (all radiation reflect) and Antarctica has an Albedo of 0.9 al the time. This means that the radiation that does get to Antarctica is reflected, this makes it very, very cold! It also has blizzards often with Antarctic winds falling in the middle of the island and spreading out across Antarctica with great speed, it has been know to get up to 70mph. The whole island is estimated to be 7000km by 7000km giving it a total area of 49000km squared, approximately. It is such and interesting place as it is the one place on earth that humans have not touched or developed on. It has not been ruined by humans and only about 40 humans inhabit it at one given time. It is so well preserved and looked after so can still offer us so much, fossil fuels could be under it or it could even hold the key to how our world began or how it might end. Who Has Ownership or Control?
There is no one country who owns Antarctica and no permanent human settlers or any evidence of an existing or pre-historic indigenous population. In 1961 a treaty was established on the ownership of Antarctica, 46 countries have signed this treaty to agree on claims and treatment of Antarctica. It was made so that there would be no disputes over what happens to Antarctica and that all the countries that have signed the treaty can make an input into what happens to it. This treaty means that there will be no war or dispute over Antarctica which makes it a safer environment it also means that decisions that are made will be made in the best interest of every one.
The ATS states these 10 Articles
Article 1 – The area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose; Article 2 – Freedom of scientific investigations and cooperation shall continue; Article 3 – Free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies; Article 4 – The treaty does not recognise, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force; Article 5 – The treaty prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes;...
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