Antarctica



Official Country Name
Antarctica

Antarctica Overview
Speculation over the existence of a "southern land" was not confirmed until the early 1820s when British and American commercial operators and British and Russian national expeditions began exploring the Antarctic Peninsula region and other areas south of the Antarctic Circle. Not until 1840 was it established that Antarctica was indeed a continent and not just a group of islands. Several exploration "firsts" were achieved in the early 20th century. Following World War II, there was an upsurge in scientific research on the continent. A number of countries have set up year-round research stations on Antarctica. Seven have made territorial claims, but not all countries recognize these claims. In order to form a legal framework for the activities of nations on the continent, an Antarctic Treaty was negotiated that neither denies nor gives recognition to existing territorial claims; signed in 1959, it entered into force in 1961.

Antarctica Economy
Fishing off the coast and tourism, both based abroad, account for Antarctica's limited economic activity. Antarctic fisheries in 2003-04 (1 July-30 June) reported landing 136,262 metric tons (estimated fishing from the area covered by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which extends slightly beyond the Antarctic Treaty area). Unregulated fishing, particularly of Patagonian toothfish, is a serious problem. The CCAMLR determines the recommended catch limits for marine species. A total of 23,175 tourists visited in the 2004-05 Antarctic summer, up from the 19,486 visitors the previous year. Nearly all of them were passengers on commercial (nongovernmental) ships and several yachts that make trips during the summer. Most tourist trips last approximately two weeks.

Antarctica Location
Antarctica is located in continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle

Region
Antarctica is located in Antarctica

Antarctica Population
Antarctica has population of no indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and summer-only staffed research stations

Antarctica Climate
Antarctica has severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing

Antarctica Terrain
about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent

Antarctica Natural Resources
iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries

Ethnic Groups in Antarctica
Antarctica has the following ethnic groups - no indigenous inhabitants

Antarctica Religions


Antarctica Languages


Antarctica Capital
Antarctica capital is

Antarctica Currency
Antarctica currency is

Map of Antarctica