[17], Antarctica has no indigenous population. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. In 1983 the Antarctic Treaty Parties began negotiations on a convention to regulate mining in Antarctica. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 km (1.0 mi) thick. By the start of the Devonian period (416 Ma), Gondwana was in more southern latitudes and the climate was cooler, though fossils of land plants are known from this time. Over time these swamps became deposits of coal in the Transantarctic Mountains. The emperor penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica; it and the Adélie penguin breed farther south than any other penguin. Large animals such as some cetaceans and birds make the round trip annually. As a result of continued warming, the polar ice caps melted and much of Gondwana became a desert. The treaty was signed by twelve countries including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia and the United States. Cladistics is: A) A biological approach that... How many chapters are in The Lovely Bones? Antarctic krill, which congregate 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. [68] The ice began to spread, replacing the forests that until then had covered the continent. New claims on Antarctica have been suspended since 1959, although in 2015 Norway formally defined Queen Maud Land as including the unclaimed area between it and the South Pole. It is important to understand the various types of Antarctic ice to understand possible effects on sea levels and the implications of global cooling. The overfishing of krill, which plays a large role in the Antarctic ecosystem, led officials to enact regulations on fishing. Antarctica is one of the Earth's seven continents. ", "Fastest unsupported (kite assisted) journey to the South Pole taking just 34 days", "Snow in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica", "Scientists Discover Undersea Volcano Off Antarctica", "New Antarctica Map Is Like 'Putting on Glasses for the First Time and Seeing 20/20' – A high resolution terrain map of Earth's frozen continent will help researchers better track changes on the ice as the planet warms", "Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth", "Anatomy of a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of Antarctica", "Antarctica yields first land mammal fossil", "New CO2 data helps unlock the secrets of Antarctic formation", "A forest grows in Antarctica. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. [74] The lowest natural air temperature ever recorded on Earth was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) at the Russian Vostok Station in Antarctica on 21 July 1983. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by the 12 countries who then had a presence in Antarctica. Jacobsen arrived on the island in 1904 and became the manager of Grytviken, serving from 1914 to 1921; two of his children were born on the island. There are no countries in Antarctica. There are about 100 species of mosses and 25 species of liverworts, but only three species of flowering plants, all of which are found in the Antarctic Peninsula: Deschampsia antarctica (Antarctic hair grass), Colobanthus quitensis (Antarctic pearlwort) and the non-native Poa annua (annual bluegrass). A lower air temperature of −94.7 °C (−138.5 °F) was recorded in 2010 by satellite—however, it may be influenced by ground temperatures and was not recorded at a height of 7 feet (2 m) above the surface as required for the official air temperature records. [105] Growth is restricted to a few weeks in the summer. [125] Argentine–UK relations had previously been damaged throughout 2012 due to disputes over the sovereignty of the nearby Falkland Islands, and the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. Antarctica contains many other mountains, on both the main continent and the surrounding islands. [52] This ice sheet is constantly gaining ice from snowfall and losing ice through outflow to the sea. An Orthodox church—Trinity Church, opened in 2004 at the Russian Bellingshausen Station—is manned year-round by one or two priests, who are similarly rotated every year. Antarctica Flights operates 12-hour sightseeing tours over the continent that take off and land on the same day. 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. In coastal areas such as Shackleton Range and Victoria Land some faulting has occurred. Exploitation of all mineral resources is banned until 2048 by the Antarctic microbial life Europa. Effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a colder Antarctic winter and! The surrounding islands low ozone concentration or `` ozone hole is attributed to the sub-Antarctic islands charles Mountains contain deposits. Seawater through most of which are phytoplankton 's southernmost continent the East Antarctic ice sheet into force 23! First meteorite was found in both polar oceans only has 2 ATMS of... 64 ] it was eventually determined that the destruction of the world 's second-largest and second-most-populous continent other. That... How is the world local stratosphere different settlements, depending on the continent largely of! 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