Lecture 22- Antarctica Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 22- Antarctica Deck (21)
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What is the Antarctic treaty?

-49 signatory countries -began in 1961 -agreement to that Antarctica does not belong to anyone, still have territorial claims -only a scientific research area -military pursuits are strictly banned -big international agreement


How big is Antarctica?

-14 million km2 -x1.6 times bigger than Australia -low input from the Sun -productivity is low as the light is reflected


What are the Antarctic bases (3)? And what countries claim Antarctica?



What is the life of a research like in Antarctica?

-logistically difficult -can be psychologically challenging -cold, windy -isolated, only with few people= problems


What is transport like to Antarctica?

-on ships and the last bit can be helicopter as the ice doesn't melt all the way to the base -then use helicopters or scooter things for research -sometimes skis as well but only short distance and not common


What is the temperature like in Antarctica?

-very cold, mean temperature is -49C -record is -89C -very windy


What is the elevation like in Antarctica?

-very high -2300 mean elevation -the ice sheet mean width is 2km, can be up to 4.5km


What is Antarctic convergence?

-circumpolar current circulated west to east inside the convergence

-the water around the antarctic is a closed system

-so if oil spill in it, does not dissipate as easily -helped freezing the antarctica as the water was circulating there= cold


Is Antarctica considered a dry continent?

-very dry (water locked up in ice) -affects mucous membranes -low humidity in the air


What is the Antarctic Plateau like?

-a cold desert


What does shortage of suitable substrate mean for species in the Antarctic?

-constrains species that can't breed on ice -Antarctic petrels -Southern Fulmars


What vertebrates are there in the Antarctic?

-fish: over 270 species -amphibians and reptiles=0 as too cold, no invertebrates to eat. low humidity -43 species of seabirds -19 mammal species, all marine (only whales and seals), no strictly terrestrial vertebrates


What are the skuas?

-big gulls (bigger than silver and pacific gulls) -clean everything -key scavenger/predator on land -seabird


How many species of seals are there in the Antarctic?

-7 -eg. Weddell seal, crabeater seal -Leopard seal= top order predator, -580-600kg, very large -classic predator teeth -big dangerous animals


How many species of whales are there in the Antarctic?

-12 -2 groups of whales -1.orca= take seals, penguins etc. -2 baleen whales are the other group -the biggest mammals in the world and animals -feed on really small animals -kryll really abundant in some areas


What is the food base in the Antarctic?

-krill, zooplankton, cephalopods -foodchain in the antarctic= simple -zooplankton are the basis= whales eat it -it is harvested by people= for protein, feed for fish -concerns as it could damage the whole system


What is the Heard Island like?

-belongs to Australia -sub-antarctic -tallest Australian mountain -very isolated -very few species but high abundance of those! -7 seal species, 32 seabird species recorded (19 breeding here) -ice bound, covered in ice all year


What is the Macquarie Island like?

-sub Antarctica -mid oceanic ridge (two plates pushing up) -outside the Antarctic convergence about 33km long -1600km away from Tasmania -almost always very windy 40knots -to get around= you walk everything wet all the time -windy and cloudy -not that cold, temps aroundmostly 1-8C sometimes 9C- 13C -freshwater lakes but no freshwater fish -steep coastal slopes


What are some of the mammals that live on Macquarie Island?

-seals: 1.subantarctic fur seal (sexual dimorphism, females= 40kg, males= 180kg) 2.Elephant seals (bull up to 4 tonnes, decreasing in numbers, scars on males, they are phocids, only move with front paws, can be very fast)


What are the birds that live on Macquarie Island?

-72 species of seabirds recorded -penguins: King Penguins (live in colonies), Gentoo Penguin (more solitary, quiet smaller), Royal Penguins (smelly, argumentative), Rockhopper Penguins(smaller, feisty, live in colonies) -albatrosses: Sooty Albatross (numerous), Black Browed Albatross (pair for life, small colony), Grey Headed Albatross (large about 40-50cm), Wandering Albatross: huge wingspan-covers huge distances, great concern about this, long life cycle)


What are the threats and conservation issue for the Antarctic region? (5)

1. Global warming: sea level change 2. Pollution: delicate ecosystem 3. Harvesting in southern oceans 4. Introduced (feral species) 5. Increasing tourism