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Antarctica, topographic map

Antarctica, topographic map

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Uploaded 21 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2007 Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
Antarctic is the fifth largest continent of the world at 14 million square kilometres and is covered by a permanent continental ice sheet. The ice is distributed in two major ice sheets, the East Antarctic and the West Antarctic, and in addition there are shelf ice, extending over the sea water. Antarctic inland ice ranges in thickness up to 5000 m, with an average thickness of about 2400 m, making Antarctica by far the highest of the continents. Straddling the South Pole, Antarctica is cold even during summer. Much of the continent is a cold desert with very low precipitation rates. Thus, in contrast to Greenland, only a tiny proportion of the mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet occurs by melting from the surface – summertime melt from the margins of the ice sheet only occurs in the northern Antarctic Peninsula and the northernmost fringes of East Antarctica. Instead, most ice loss from Antarctica is from basal melting and iceberg calving from the vast floating ice shelves. The ...
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