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5th largest

Antarctica is the 5th largest continent (5.5 mil sq. mi)


geographic south poles

Magnetic South Pole

not located on land but in the ocean off the coast 66 degrees E 140 degrees S

Ice Sheet

largest supply of freshwater in the world


coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent

Transantarctic Mt.

divide the continent in 2

East Antarctica

a plateau surrounded by mountains and valleys

West Antarctica

a group of separate islands linking by ice

Entire area

land hidden by a thick ice sheet


6 months of darkness and 6 months of light

-120 degrees

temp. most of the year is bitter cold dropping down to

Most of Antarctica

a polar desert that receives less than 1 inch of rain a year

James Cook

first explorer to SEE Antarctica in 1772 but not explored until 1911

Geologists think...

large number of resources of coal, minerals, and even oil


26 nations agreed NOT to mine Antarctica until 50 years


a scientific laboratory

Madrid Protocol

In 1991, 36 nations signed it to protect thecontinent; forbids most activites that do not have scientific purposes

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