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antarctic vegetation wikipedia

Posted on December 19th, 2020

[120], Melting of floating ice shelves (ice that originated on the land) does not in itself contribute much to sea-level rise, since the ice displaces only its own mass of water. An expedition led by Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen from the ship Fram became the first to reach the geographic South Pole on 14 December 1911, using a route from the Bay of Whales and up the Axel Heiberg Glacier. It generally forms under otherwise clear or nearly clear skies, so people sometimes also refer to it as clear-sky precipitation. In 1895, the first confirmed landing was conducted by a team of Norwegians. Lake Vostok, discovered beneath Russia's Vostok Station in 1996, is the largest of these subglacial lakes. Media in category "Flora of Antarctica" The following 19 files are in this category, out of 19 total. [134][135], The terrestrial and native year-round species appear to be the descendants of ancestors who lived in geothermally warmed environments during the last ice age, when these areas were the only places on the continent not covered by ice. The Antarctican dollar, a souvenir item sold in the United States and Canada, is not legal tender. Antarctica is the Earth's southernmost continent.It is on the South Pole.It is almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle.Around Antarctica is the Southern Ocean.It is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. [202] With the ban of CFCs in the Montreal Protocol of 1989, climate projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070. The name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké), feminine of ἀνταρκτικός (antarktikós),[9] meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north". This effect is partially offset by additional snow falling back onto the continent. [122], The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass as ice flows faster into the ocean than before. In the Arctic, the low tundra vegetation clothes a landscape of wide vistas, lit by the low-angle light characteristic of high latitudes. This reduced the formation of the 'polar stratospheric clouds' that enable the chemistry that leads to rapid ozone loss. Due to its location at the South Pole, Antarctica receives relatively little solar radiation except along the southern summer. [196], About thirty countries maintain about seventy research stations (40-year-round or permanent, and 30 summer-only) in Antarctica, with an approximate population of 4000 in summer and 1000 in winter. The Antarctic Convergence is an uneven line of latitude where cold, northward-flowing Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters of the worlds oceans. Discover the amazing animals that live in one of the world’s harshest environments. The prefabricated station, which is part of the International Polar Year, was shipped to the South Pole from Belgium by the end of 2008 to monitor the health of the polar regions. [6] Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of 200 mm (7.9 in) along the coast and far less inland; yet 80% of the world freshwater reserves are stored there, enough to raise global sea levels by about 60 metres (200 ft) if all of it were to melt. [174] In 1988, the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources (CRAMRA) was adopted. Under such severe and harsh conditions there is hardly any vegetation in the Antarctic. Most of the supplies are in the form of rocks (particularly coal) and vegetation, which is used for fires and building supplies. Antarctica (/ænˈtɑːrktɪkə/ or /æntˈɑːrtɪkə/ (listen))[note 1] is Earth's southernmost continent. The number of people conducting and supporting scientific research and other work on the continent and its nearby islands varies from about 1,000 in winter to about 5,000 in the summer, giving it a population density between 70 and 350 inhabitants per million square kilometres (180 and 900 per million square miles) at these times. Arctic vegetation is composed of plants such as dwarf shrubs, graminoids, herbs, lichens, and mosses, which all grow relatively close to the ground, forming tundra.An example of a dwarf shrub is the bearberry.As one moves northward, the amount of warmth available for plant growth decreases considerably. Compared with meteorites collected in more temperate regions on Earth, the Antarctic meteorites are well-preserved. Vegetation and Wildlife of Antarctica. The sheet has been of recent concern because of the small possibility of its collapse. [50], Roald Amundsen and his crew looking at the Norwegian flag at the South Pole, 1911, The French Dumont d'Urville Station, an example of modern human settlement in Antarctica. Precipitation is low (most of Antarctica is a desert) and almost always in the form of snow, which accumulates and forms the giant ice sheets which cover the continent. An ice sheet is a large stretch of glacier ice that covers the land all around it for more than 50,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles). Positioned asymmetrically around the South Pole and largely south of the Antarctic Circle, Antarctica is the southernmost continent and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean; alternatively, it may be considered to be surrounded by the southern Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, or by the southern waters of the World Ocean. The hole, reoccurring every spring since the 1970s, was detected by scientists in 1985. [130] Models suggest that ozone depletion and the enhanced polar vortex effect also account for the period of increased sea ice just offshore of the continent. It is now found on several separate areas of the Southern Hemisphere, including southern South America, southernmost Africa, New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia. [36] Mercator Cooper landed in East Antarctica on 26 January 1853. [16] Eventually Antarctica was adopted as the continental name in the 1890s—the first use of the name is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. They searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Ultima and Antipodea. Glaciation began at the end of the Devonian period (360 Ma), as Gondwana became centred on the South Pole and the climate cooled, though flora remained. Robertson Land, Wilkes Land, and Victoria Land. The northern part of Antarctica is covered in lush tropical rainforest, which is home to many new species of plants, insects and birds. It is currently comprised of seven states, a federal district, and also claims a seamount chain in the South Atlantic Ocean for a possible seasteading project. The interesting thing about the ice sheet “vegetation region” is that there really isn’t any vegetation there at all! The flora of the continent largely consists of bryophytes. [1] McMurdo Station, which is the largest research station in Antarctica, is capable of housing more than 1,000 scientists, visitors, and tourists. The algae and lichens grow where there is moisture, and they hide in cracks to be protected from the wind. [207], This large collection of meteorites allows a better understanding of the abundance of meteorite types in the solar system and how meteorites relate to asteroids and comets. The Weddell seal, a "true seal", is named after Sir James Weddell, commander of British sealing expeditions in the Weddell Sea. Sunburn is often a health issue as the snow surface reflects almost all of the ultraviolet light falling on it. [20], European maps continued to show this hypothetical land until Captain James Cook's ships, HMS Resolution and Adventure, crossed the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. If all of this ice were melted, sea levels would rise about 60 m (200 ft). Curated by professional editors, The Conversation offers informed commentary and debate on the issues affecting our world. The ecotone (or ecological boundary region) between the tundra and the forest is known as the tree line or timberline. [205], Astrophysicists at Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station study the celestial dome and cosmic microwave background radiation. He is credited with implementing mechanised land transport on the continent and conducting extensive geological and biological research. [108], There is some evidence that surface warming in Antarctica is due to human greenhouse gas emissions,[109] but this is difficult to determine due to internal variability. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecology. Scattered trees grow in some tundra regions. The term tundra comes through Roushie тундра frae the Kildin Sami wird tūndâr "uplands", "treeless muntain tract". [124] A 2018 systematic review study estimated that ice loss across the entire continent was 43 gigatonnes per year on average during the period from 1992 to 2002 but accelerated to an average of 220 gigatonnes per year during the five years from 2012 to 2017. [69], During the Cambrian period, Gondwana had a mild climate. Lichens, mosses, and terrestrial algae are among the few species of vegetation that grow in Antarctica. Much of the Arctic shows little impact from human activities, making it one of the few places on earth one can see intact ecosystems. In 1998, a compromise agreement was reached to place an indefinite ban on mining, to be reviewed in 2048, further limiting economic development and exploitation. Antarctica mostly remains quite barren. [207], Coordinates: 90°S 0°E / 90°S 0°E / -90; 0, This article is about the continent. [65][66], More than 100 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. New types of meteorites and rare meteorites have been found. There are about 100 species of mosses and 25 species of liverworts, but only three species of flowering plants, all of which are found in the Antarctic Peninsula: Deschampsia antarctica (Antarctic hair grass), Colobanthus quitensis (Antarctic pearlwort) and the non-native Poa annua (annual bluegrass). [194] The primary response by Antarctic Treaty Parties has been to develop, through their Committee for Environmental Protection and in partnership with IAATO, "site use guidelines" setting landing limits and closed or restricted zones on the more frequently visited sites. The First Russian Antarctic Expedition led by Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on the 985-ton sloop-of-war Vostok ("East") and the 530-ton support vessel Mirny ("Peaceful") reached a point within 32 km (20 mi) of Queen Maud's Land and recorded the sight of an ice shelf at .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}69°21′28″S 2°14′50″W / 69.35778°S 2.24722°W / -69.35778; -2.24722,[29] on 27 January 1820,[30] which became known as the Fimbul ice shelf. Among them was the founder of Grytviken, Captain Carl Anton Larsen, a prominent Norwegian whaler and explorer who, along with his family, adopted British citizenship in 1910. Among these are pieces blasted off the Moon, and probably Mars, by impacts. [1][198], Each year, scientists from 28 different nations conduct experiments not reproducible in any other place in the world. The introduction of alien plants or animals can bring a criminal penalty, as can the extraction of any indigenous species. Antarctica covers more than 14 million km2 (5,400,000 sq mi),[1] making it the fifth-largest continent, about 1.3 times as large as Europe. [67] Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart, and Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago, when the Drake Passage opened between it and South America. A possible explanation for the difference between the Antarctic and the Arctic, which has seen rapid sea ice loss, is that thermohaline circulation transports warmed water to deeper layers in the ocean. [111], In 2002 the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen-B ice shelf collapsed. Douglas Mawson, who assumed the leadership of the Magnetic Pole party on their perilous return, went on to lead several expeditions until retiring in 1931. A drier northern Gondwanan flora had developed in northern South America and northern Africa. Most of the whalers were Norwegian, with an increasing proportion of Britons. The cooling of Antarctica occurred stepwise, as the continental spread changed the oceanic currents from longitudinal equator-to-pole temperature-equalising currents to latitudinal currents that preserved and accentuated latitude temperature differences. Antarctic fisheries in 2000–01 reported landing 112,934 tonnes. If you want to know more about the continent of Antarctica, you’ll find all of the facts here: Antarctica Facts. The amount of variation it has experienced in its thickness is unclear with satellite techniques just emerging as of 2019. [93], East Antarctica is geologically varied, dating from the Precambrian era, with some rocks formed more than 3 billion years ago. [140], Some species of marine animals exist and rely, directly or indirectly, on the phytoplankton. Tipping points have been identified in some regions; when a certain threshold warming is reached, these regions may start melting significantly faster and irreversibly. In fact, it is the only treeless continent in the world. In the interior, wind speeds are typically moderate. Sand and silts were laid down in what is now the Ellsworth, Horlick and Pensacola Mountains. [4], The continent of Antarctica itself has been too cold and dry to support virtually any vascular plants for millions of years. Second, the Arctic Ocean covers the north polar zone: the ocean's relative warmth is transferred through the icepack and prevents temperatures in the Arctic regions from reaching the extremes typical of the land surface of Antarctica. Media in category "Flora of Antarctica" The following 19 files are in this category, out of 19 total. [131] The ozone hole is attributed to the emission of chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs into the atmosphere, which decompose the ozone into other gases. The melting ice in the coastal areas helps the growth of lichens, mosses, algae and water grass. / -90 ; 0, this article is about the continent Jupiter 's Europa... Ice caps melted and much of Gondwana, which gradually broke up by plate tectonics 110. The breakup of the Southern rockhopper penguin has distinctive feathers around the of... To sea level rise has been noted on the continent, and Podocarpoxylon relatively little solar except... 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