Antarctic, common name on the surrounding land- and oceanareas on
the South Pole.
The Antarctic Continent (13,1 mill. km2) is sorrounded
by the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, and a distinct change
in temperature follows the 53 - 62 latitude in the Pacific Ocean,
and about the 50th towards the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Antarctic
is covered by an Icecap up to 4.200m thickness, averaging 1.500 to
2.000 m asl. On the Pole, snow lies at 2.800 m asl. The highest mountains
is Massif Vinson; 5139 m asl in Ellsworth Mountains area.
images showing the changes in Antarctic sea ice in 1986.
The reds and purples are the areas of most dense sea ice concentration.
In the winter, Antarctica almost doubles in size
et al., 1992; NASA Scientific and Technology Information Program).
Only a smaller part is ice-free sometimes. Temperature
in the air is seldom above the freezing point at 0° C, except
for the coastline in Graham Land and on the islands in the north...
(So far I'm having a little difficulty to see what is west and
east, not to mention
what is exactly north on the South Pole...Anyone help to offer?)
breaking away from an ice shelf. Calving of 'bergs is the only way
to get rid of ice in a polar setting!
Photograph by S. Shipp, Rice University.
not valid as per Sept.2010)
of ice are now disapperaring from the South Pole area, byt exactly
how much is melting?
Some calculations say that so far as much as 3.275
square-kilometers have dissappered.
That equals 720 cubic-kilometers or 0,0024% of all the ice in Antarctic.
Now isn't 0,0024% a large quantity, but if you think that 100% would
ocean to rise as much as 60 meters, that means that 1% would be equal
to 0,60 meters,
an then at least Tuvalu and several
other islands - an not to forget some sea-port towns would have
some new problems. But now it is just a 0,0024%. That doesn't qual
to more than
Then, is there really a problem? Yes, in some way there is. To day
is March the 25th, and so
far those 0,0024% has already disapperared this year! And is that
only the ice from the
Larsen-shelf. Then what about the one that broke off in the Pine-Island
area? And has there
been other losses elsewhere down there this year? You won't have to
multiply 1,44mm with
so many broken icebergs, till you get centimeters of rise in the sea-level,
and some places
there just isn't that much to go for. And now the North
Pole is also getting into the matter.
through the East and West Antarctic ice sheets showing their bases
to present sea level. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet sits on bedrock
close to, or above, sea level.
The base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet lies on land below sea level
(modified from Bentley, 1964).
showing what is really land on the South Pole. A black line sorrounding
the mainaland shows what is 'the pole' today, where ice makes up most
of the area.