Friday, December 4, 2015

#418 Yep, It Will Be Cold


To get ready for this trip I researched facts on Antarctica to make sure this is where we want to go--a little late now to back out.  Fascinating place to visit but wouldn't want to live there.  Enjoy an education on the

Facts of Antarctica

Credit: British Antarctic Survey
The male Emperor penguin is the only warm-blooded animal that remains on the Antarctic continent through the winter. It stays to nest on the single egg laid by its mate (the female spends nine weeks at sea and returns in time for the egg to hatch).

An unexpected resident
Credit: Byron Adams.
The most abundant land animal on Antarctica is not the penguin, but the tiny nematode worm.
Haven of sunlight
Credit: Forest Banks, National Science Foundation
During the summer months, when the sun is constantly above the horizon, more sunlight reaches the surface at the South Pole than over a similar period of time at the equator, according to the CIA World Factbook.
First child
Credit: CIA World Factbook.
In January 1979, Emile Marco Palma became the first child born on the southernmost continent. Argentina sent Palma's pregnant mother to Antarctica in an effort to claim a portion of the continent.
Ebb and flow
Credit: Govert Schilling
There is a year-round presence of researchers on Antarctica, peaking at more than 4,000 in the prime summer research season and falling to around 1,000 in the winter season.
Research galore
Credit: NSF/USAP
Nearly 30 countries operate more than 80 research stations around the continent, according to 2009 numbers from the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs.
A discovery
Credit: NASA.
The existence of Antarctica was completely unknown until the continent was first spotted in 1820. (It wasn't until 20 years later that it was confirmed to be a continent and not just a group of islands.)
Hidden under ice
Credit: Nicolle Rager-Fuller / NSF
Also hiding under the Antarctic ice is an entire lake: Lake Vostok is a pristine freshwater lake buried beneath 2.5 miles (3.7 kilometers) of solid ice. It is about the size of Lake Ontario, and is the largest of the more than 200 liquid lakes strewn around the continent under the ice.
Move over Grand Canyon
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
A rift that could rival the Grand Canyon was discovered beneath the Antarctic ice during an expedition conducted during 2009-2010. It is roughly 6 miles (10 kilometers) across and at least 62 miles (100 km) long, possibly far longer if it extends into the sea. It extends nearly a mile down (1.5 km) at its deepest.
Now THAT's ice
Credit: James Yungel/NASA IceBridge, National Science Foundation.
The average thickness of Antarctic ice is about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers).
Storage of a precious resource
Credit: Neil Ross/University of Edinburgh
Antarctica is home to about 70 percent of the planet's fresh water, and 90 percent of the planet's freshwater ice.
An icy land
Credit: NASA
Ninety-nine percent of Antarctica is covered by ice.
A lot of wind
Credit: NASA/Maria-José Viñas
On average, Antarctica is the windiest continent. Winds in some places of the continent can reach 200 mph (320 km/h).
Seriously dry
Credit: NASA
The Dry Valleys of Antarctica are the driest place on Earth, with low humidity and almost no snow or ice cover.

Thanks for reading #418 of 7777.

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