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Flashcards in Humanities 9 Deck (30):

Where is Antarctica?

Antarctica is located at the very bottom of the earth. If you are heading towards it you will always be going south, if you are leaving it you will always be going north.


What are the three reasons Antarctica is so cold?

Because the suns rays have to stretch to reach the poles of the earth, any sun that makes it there is reflected back by the white ice and it is surrounded by the cold waters of the southern ocean which acts like a buffer and no warm water can reach the shore


How does the temperature vary throughout the year?

During the coldest months (winter) the average temperature is -60° and in the warmer months (summer) the average temperature is -28°


What is the precipitation level in Antarctica?

Antarctica has very little precipitation as very cold air cannot hold water well.


What is the wind like in Antarctica?

Antarctica is so windy as the air comes over the polar plateau. Then gravity pulls it down onto the coast and creates terrible wind called katabatic winds.


How do people cope with the harsh climate?

With technology. We now have the skills to build insulated bases, warmer clothes and more advanced transportation devices. People also only go down there and work in summer as winter is nearly impossible to live in.


How do animals and plants cope with the harsh climate?

Adaption. Plants and fish have a chemical in their blood called antifreeze so their blood doesn't freeze. Sme animals have a special layer of fur of feathers to keep them warm and dry, some have a thick layer of fat (blubber) to keep them warm and other leave Antarctica in the winter as it gets to cold, in fact the only creature that stays on Antarctica in the winter are emperor penguins.


General overview of the food web

At the bottom of the food web is the plankton followed by the krill. Fish and squid eat krill but are also eaten by most things so they are near the bottom. At the top is the killer whale that eats penguins, seals and what ever else it can find. On the sides are most whales and seals that don't get eaten by anything apart from killer whales. These include the blue whale, elephant seals, humpback whales and crab eater seals. They normally eat krill, fish and squid (mainly for seals). Birds are also around the side and eat fish and squid exempt for the skua which also preys on baby penguins.


How is Antarctica used by humans?

Antarctica is an amazing natural laboratory. It has the worlds cleanest air and an un disrupted food chain. Scientist can study the worlds weather, climate, marine and land biology, glaciers, magnetics, geology and the ozone layer.


Who uses Antarctica?

Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, UK, Belgium, Japan, Russia, South Africa and the USA


When was the Antarctic treaty established?

It was brought into effect on June 23 1961


Why was the Antarctic treaty established?

It was meant to protect the land and animals of Antarctica


What are the rules of use of Antarctica said by the Antarctic treaty?

Must be used for peaceful purposes only, it guarantees continued scientific freedom, promotes international scientific co-operation, gives no potential power disputes, prohibits nuclear explosions and dumping of radioactive waste, inspections can take place is beloved to be not followed, makes parties give advanced notice of trips, allows discussions of treaty advances and modifications


Does anyone own Antarctica?

No, it is internationally owned but countries do have territories.


How does mining threaten Antarctica?

If mined the air would be polluted and Antarctica would be destroyed and animals would loose habitats as has happened anywhere else. It is now banned thanks to the Madrid protocol.


What threat does tourism impose?

Tourism is slowly destroying Antarctica through littering and contamination of a precious environment. People may also squash plants that are rare.


What threat does climate change impose?

Climate change is slowly melting the ice. Permafrost (permanent frost) is being melted and releasing greenhouse gasses. The oceans will gain size and shores of other lands will reced.


What's an ice sheet?

An area of ice that completely covers areas of land for a long time. They're also known as continental glaciers


What's sea ice?

During winter the temperature drops and freezes the ocean surface and doubles Antarctica's land mass


What's an ice shelf?

Glaciers spill out onto the ocean and form stretches of floating freshwater ice still tied to the land


What's pack ice?

When sea ice melts thicker unmelted slabs of sea ice break off and float around. They can be separate or forced together by the wind causing deadly blocks


What are icebergs

Icebergs form when chunks break off from glaciers or ice shelves. They can be very big


What's a glacier?

Fast moving areas of ice or 'ice streams' that move towards the ocean. When they move they twist and crack causing deadly crevasses that can be hidden or covered by snow


Where are bases located?

Most bases are located on the coast so people and supplies can be brought in by boat and air. They are also located on dry land not covered by ice or snow as bases on ice can sink into the ice through heat given off.


What recreation is there in Antarctic bases?

Casey Station has indoor climbing, a home theatre, a gym, a photographic dark room, a library and many communal sitting areas for expeditioners to pass the time


What types of food are eaten in Antarctic bases?

The food eaten on bases in Antarctica is very similar to the food that you will eat at home. The hardest to get food is is in fresh fruit and vegetables as there aren't much mostly, only when delivered. This means that for much of the year the food is either frozen, dried or tinned. You must accept that food can be fairly bland and not very exciting.


What are th e working conditions in Antarcica?

When it is cold your body needs more energy that it does on a normal day. Also any work around the site works allot of energy so you need to keep well fed. Everyone has to contribute to the day-to-day running of the station. Rosters are set up for the duties of each person, these can include vacuuming and shovelling snow. There are many jobs around these bases that you must be qualified for to do, these include field training officer, carpenter and communications officer.


Does work change during seasons?

Yes, it is easier to work in the summer than the winter as it is slightly warmer and more of the animals are still there. Some people do stay during the winter on permanent bases close to the South Pole, one of the few places not covered by ice or snow.


Wy is Sir Douglas Morton important in the division of Antarctica's land?

His exploration and legacy was that he claimed 42% of Antarctica's land for Australia


Who was sir Douglas Mawson?

Mawson was a geologist who explored Antarctica and defied all odds and survived after loosing all his food and good dogs, lost both of his men and yet made it back to their base