Should Antarctica be developed in the future?
Antarctica is the most untouched part of the world, making it immensely beautiful, breath-taking and bejeweled with miles and miles of twinkling ice. Antarctica lies on the Southern front of the Antarctic circle. Right at the bottom of the world, the closest place to Antarctica is South America. It is 7900 miles/12'700 km away from the UK and has a land area of 14 million sq km! Temperatures in the summer can edge their way up to just 5 degrees Celsius and during the winter, the main temperature is about -30 degrees celcius, but they can fall below 60 degrees easily. Antarctica is shaped like an upside-down bowl (being on the curve at the bottom of the Earth), so all the wind that comes from inland gets faster and faster as it travels towards the coast. These extremely fast winds are called katabatic winds, and they can get up to around 200 mph! Also, Antarctica is classified as a desert, because it has absolutely no precipitation in the form of water. The only form of precipitation is in snow. Coastal areas can get the equivalent of 8" of water annually in snow, and inland areas can get about 2".
Antarctica is truly an amazing place. Can you think of one other place on Earth where you can walk for miles and miles and not see one other human being, or a building, or something man-made? Peace, tranquility and quiet reigns this land, frozen still. However, lurking in the corners, Antarctica isn't completely lifeless. Over 150 lichens, 30 mosses, 300 algae, some fungi and liverwort live on the ice, and under it. Only two native vascular plants can survive south of 56 degrees south: the Antarctic hair grass and the cushion-forming pearl-wort. In addition, there is a small range of animals! Penguins, everyone loves them, well there are 17 different types of penguin here, all cute and waddling around! Also, there is an odd range of fish, including the ice-fish, which has antifreeze in its blood! There is lots of...
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