Mesmerizing Antarctica Pictures and Facts - Fun - Chinadaily Forum
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Post time 2017-12-13 12:43:21 |Display all floors
Antarctica is under stress: The frigid continent contains more than 90 percent of the world’s natural ice, but decades of human industrialization and interference may spell disaster for both Antarctica’s landscape and the world.

Indeed, a new study suggests that an Antarctic ice sheet bigger than Mexico could disintegrate within mere decades — and raise sea levels by 12 feet or more. And changes like those show no signs of slowing down.

These Antarctica facts and pictures below reveal the southernmost continent’s chilly beauty — as well as the havoc the continent may wreak on the world if it continues to melt:


1. Although the continent is primarily covered by a thick sheet of ice, Antarctica is actually classified as a desert, due to the limited amount of moisture which falls from the sky. (Christopher Michel/Flickr)

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2. Average ice thickness in west Antarctica is 4,285 feet. In the east, it averages a thickness of 7,300 feet. (Pexels)

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3. The Antarctic Peninsula is extremely sensitive to small changes in average daily temperature. The two polar regions are sometimes referred to as “the canary in the coalmine,” meaning they show the effects of global warming long before the rest of the world. (Wikimedia Commons)

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4. The surface of Antarctica varies greatly in accordance with the seasons. As the ice expands in winter, the coastline nearly doubles in size. (Pixabay)

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5. The average temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula has increased nearly three degrees Celsius over the last 50 years — around ten times faster than that of the rest of the world. (Wikimedia Commons)

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6. Though there has been significant ice loss on the peninsula, the 96 percent of the continent that makes up the rest of Antarctica has shown no unusual or significant loss of ice. (Wikimedia Commons)

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7. Warming temperatures have led to ice shelf collapse. In 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, spilling 500 billion tons of ice into the sea. (Jerzystrzelecki/Wikimedia Commons)

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8. The rate of ice melt increased significantly beginning in 2009, and annual ice loss in the peninsula is now around 60 cubic km — roughly the yearly domestic water supply of the UK. (Vincent van Zeijst/Wikimedia Commons)

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9. According to Science Magazine, the surface of the Antarctic Peninsula is currently lowering at the dramatic rate of four meters per year. (Jerzystrzelecki/Wikimedia Commons)

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This post was edited by Perfumecity at 2017-12-13 12:57

10. During one ten-year study of ice loss in the region, scientists found no major increase in temperature or decrease of snowfall, leading them to believe that the rapid ice loss is being caused by rising ocean temperatures. (Eli Duke/Flickr)

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11. Ice loss and sea acidification has caused the krill population in the Antarctic Ocean to decline by 80 percent since the 1970s. Numerous species depend on krill for survival, including whales, birds, penguins, and seals. (Pixabay)

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12. The harsh climate and rough terrain have afforded a level of protection to Antarctica's native species, but warming climates and over-harvesting of sea life have threatened the balance of the local ecosystem. (Marina & Enrique/Flickr)

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13. Human activity (and impact) in the Antarctic region began as far back as the 1700s, when early explorers hunted several species of seals, nearly wiping them out entirely. Widespread whaling in the early 1900s also decimated the whale populations to near extinction levels. (Pixabay)

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