Monday, January 28, 2008

The Great White Continent : Antarctica

Antarctica constitutes a large polar desert, characterized by year round below zero temperatures, scarce precipitations and strong winds. The continent is around 14 million square km, of which less than 2% is ice free. The ice sheet rises to over 4000 meters above the sea level and represents two thirds of the total freshwater reserves of the planet.

The region comprises approximately one tenth of the Earth's land surface and plays a significant role in the climate of the Earth. The continent is surrounded by the Southern Ocean – comprising parts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian - the largest and stormiest of the oceans. The Antarctic and Southern Ocean host a unique and fragile ecosystem characterized by unique fauna and flora.

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