‘IU1010’-Engine of Earth: Antarctica

Antarctica is the highest continent because of the thickness of the ice sheet. The average elevation is 2,300 meters. The entire Antarctic ice sheet holds about 68% of the worlds freshwater. The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Antarctica at Russia’s Vostok Station that was 129.3˚F/89.6˚C. 

Life in Antarctica  

Antarctica has relatively few species of plants and animals, which is probably due to the fact that only 2% of the continent is free of ice. There are only two types of flowering plants. Most of the plant life in Antarctica is in the form of mosses and lichens. The penguins, seals, and other seabirds that might come to the continent and nearby islands are not native to the continent. Only two species of penguins, the Emperors and Adelies, are considered fully “Antarctic” because they spend significant time on the Antarctic continent.

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Projects  

1)ASOC’s mission is to protect and preserve this unique place, which is the heritage of all humankind.

2)Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP)

focuses on an invisible world in one of the most remote areas on Earth, just west of the Pole of Inaccessibility, in East Antarctica. the project will peel back the roughly 4 km-deep layer of 1.2 million-year-old glacial ice, to expose the mountains and lakes hidden below.

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The science mission addresses four fundamental questions:

  • How were the enigmatic Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains formed?
  • What role does topography play in the birth of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet?
  • Where is the oldest climate record more likely to be found?
  • What are the tectonic controls on subglacial lakes?

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3)The Antarctic Meteorological Research Center (AMRC) and Automatic Weather Station (AWS) program are United States Antarctic Program (USAP) sister projects focusing on observational Antarctic meteorological research, providing real-time and archived meteorological data and observations, and supporting a network of automatic weather stations in Antarctica.

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