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Major research stations in Antarctica Major research stations in Antarctica
Antarctica is interesting for many types of researchers. For example, glaciologists study the ice and snow, while oceanographers look at the oceans. The ice, snow and oceans affect the global climate and are presently changing as a result of global warming. The many other types of researchers who work here include geologists (who study rocks), astronomers (who study outer space), and meteorologists (who study the weather). How do researchers stud...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Cold places on the Southern Continent Cold places on the Southern Continent
Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth. This graph shows the annual temperatures and seasonal variation at three locations in Antarctica - the research bases Bernardo O'Higgins (Chile - on the Antarctic Peninsula), Scott Base (New Zealand - Ross Island) and one of the coldest places on the planet - the Vostok station (Russia - at the center of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet). The surface temperatures are long term average...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Antarctica, topography and bathymetry (topographic map) Antarctica, topography and bathymetry (topographic map)
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....
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Cryosphere - winter seasons, Northern and Southern Hemispheres Cryosphere - winter seasons, Northern and Southern Hemispheres
Seasonal variation in the extent of ice and snow cover is greatest in the Northern Hemisphere. Imagine the Earth with white caps on the top and bottom. The top cap increases by a factor of six from summer to winter, while the bottom cap only doubles from summer to winter. This difference is due to snow cover: in the Northern Hemisphere snow cover on land varies from less than 2 million km2 in the summer to 40 to 50 million km2 in the winter3. The...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Fisheries in the Southern Ocean Fisheries in the Southern Ocean
Fisheries, together with tourism, represents a major economic activity around Antarctica. In the old days whales were hunted for oil - these days fish and krill are captured for fish meal and human consumption. The areas in the Southern Atlantic are vastly more productive, and this is where most of the fish is caught. The top fishing vessels hail from Japan, Ukraine and Poland. Worth mentioning is that these figures are still small compared to th...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Area with near-surface permafrost (North of 45°N) Area with near-surface permafrost (North of 45°N)
Simulated a) permafrost area and active layer thickness (a) 1980- 1999 and (b) 2080-2099. (c) Observational estimates of permafrost (continuous, discontinuous, sporadic, and isolated). (d) Time series of simulated global permafrost area (excluding glacial Greenland and Antarctica).
01 Oct 2009 - by Laura Margueritte
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Antarctic References Antarctic References
Images of Antarctica (left) and Greenland (right) to scale. Antarctica is 50 per cent larger than the United States or Europe. Greenland is 7 times smaller than Antarctica. There is enough ice in Antarctica to raise global sea level by 60 metres and 7 metres in Greenland.
27 Oct 2009 - by Laura Margueritte
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Mass balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass balance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Increase in mass loss by the West Antarctic ice sheet. The mass loss has been steadily increasing since the 1970s as a result of accelerations in glacier flow; snowfall has not changed significantly in Antarctica over the past 50 years.
27 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sea level rise caused by the melting of mountain and subpolar glaciers Sea level rise caused by the melting of mountain and subpolar glaciers
Another process that results in rising sea levels is the addition of water mass from land ice. Melting glaciers and ice caps, as well as the vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, raise sea-levels if their water mass enters the ocean as melted water or icebergs (Pritchard et al. 2009, Steig et al. 2009, Velicogna 2009). Furthermore, it is estimated that melting of tropical glaciers (most of them are considered small) could cause an increas...
22 Nov 2010 - by Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Rapid decline of the San Quintin glacier, Northern Patagonia Rapid decline of the San Quintin glacier, Northern Patagonia
Glaciers grow and retreat at intervals depending on changes in local climate, and local variations in temperature and precipitation play a particularly important role in this. Retreating and diminishing mountain glaciers all over the world, except in the Antarctica, indicate a general trend of global warming. In addition to its rapid decrease in size, the San Quintín glacier located in North Patagonia, Chile, has also been exhibiting cracks and f...
22 Nov 2010 - by Viktor Novikov, Zoï Environment
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Sea Level Anomalies Sea Level Anomalies
Melting and warming will have consequences on ocean circulation. Additionally melting of inland glaciers and continental ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica, and the thermal expansion of ocean waters are causing sea level rise.
06 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The 'Hole': A Result of Specil Weather Conditions over the Pole Repeated Every Spring The 'Hole': A Result of Specil Weather Conditions over the Pole Repeated Every Spring
The Antarctic continent is circled by a strong wind in the stratosphere which flows around Antarctica and isolates air over Antarctica from air in the midlatitudes.
02 Nov 2009 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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