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antarctica

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antarctica


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  Antarctica 
  n  :  an  extremely  cold  continent  at  the  south  pole  almost 
  entirely  below  the  Antarctic  Circle;  covered  by  an  ice 
  cap  up  to  13,000  feet  deep  [syn:  {Antarctica},  {Antarctic 
  continent}] 
 
  From  The  CIA  World  Factbook  (1995)  [world95]: 
 
  Antarctica 
 
  Antarctica:Geography 
 
  Location:  continent  mostly  south  of  the  Antarctic  Circle 
 
  Map  references:  Antarctic  Region 
 
  Area: 
  total  area:  14  million  sq  km  (est.) 
  land  area:  14  million  sq  km  (est.) 
  comparative  area:  slightly  less  than  1.5  times  the  size  of  the  US 
  note:  second-smallest  continent  (after  Australia) 
 
  Land  boundaries:  none,  but  see  entry  on  International  disputes 
 
  Coastline:  17,968  km 
 
  Maritime  claims:  none,  but  see  entry  on  International  Disputes 
 
  International  disputes:  Antarctic  Treaty  defers  claims  (see  Antarctic 
  Treaty  Summary  below);  sections  (some  overlapping)  claimed  by 
  Argentina,  Australia,  Chile,  France  (Adelie  Land),  New  Zealand  (Ross 
  Dependency),  Norway  (Queen  Maud  Land),  and  UK  the  US  and  most  other 
  nations  do  not  recognize  the  territorial  claims  of  other  nations  and 
  have  made  no  claims  themselves  (the  US  reserves  the  right  to  do  so); 
  no  formal  claims  have  been  made  in  the  sector  between  90  degrees  west 
  and  150  degrees  west 
 
  Climate:  severe  low  temperatures  vary  with  latitude,  elevation,  and 
  distance  from  the  ocean;  East  Antarctica  is  colder  than  West 
  Antarctica  because  of  its  higher  elevation;  Antarctic  Peninsula  has 
  the  most  moderate  climate;  higher  temperatures  occur  in  January  along 
  the  coast  and  average  slightly  below  freezing 
 
  Terrain:  about  98%  thick  continental  ice  sheet  and  2%  barren  rock, 
  with  average  elevations  between  2,000  and  4,000  meters;  mountain 
  ranges  up  to  4,897  meters  high;  ice-free  coastal  areas  include  parts 
  of  southern  Victoria  Land,  Wilkes  Land,  the  Antarctic  Peninsula  area, 
  and  parts  of  Ross  Island  on  McMurdo  Sound;  glaciers  form  ice  shelves 
  along  about  half  of  the  coastline,  and  floating  ice  shelves  constitute 
  11%  of  the  area  of  the  continent 
 
  Natural  resources:  none  presently  exploited;  iron  ore,  chromium, 
  copper,  gold,  nickel,  platinum  and  other  minerals,  and  coal  and 
  hydrocarbons  have  been  found  in  small  uncommercial  quantities 
 
  Land  use: 
  arable  land:  0% 
  permanent  crops:  0% 
  meadows  and  pastures:  0% 
  forest  and  woodland:  0% 
  other:  100%  (ice  98%,  barren  rock  2%) 
 
  Irrigated  land:  0  sq  km 
 
  Environment: 
  current  issues:  in  October  1991  it  was  reported  that  the  ozone  shield, 
  which  protects  the  Earth's  surface  from  harmful  ultraviolet  radiation, 
  had  dwindled  to  the  lowest  level  recorded  over  Antarctica  since  1975 
  when  measurements  were  first  taken 
  natural  hazards:  katabatic  (gravity-driven)  winds  blow  coastward  from 
  the  high  interior;  frequent  blizzards  form  near  the  foot  of  the 
  plateau;  cyclonic  storms  form  over  the  ocean  and  move  clockwise  along 
  the  coast;  volcanism  on  Deception  Island  and  isolated  areas  of  West 
  Antarctica;  other  seismic  activity  rare  and  weak 
  international  agreements:  NA 
 
  Note:  the  coldest,  windiest,  highest,  and  driest  continent;  during 
  summer  more  solar  radiation  reaches  the  surface  at  the  South  Pole  than 
  is  received  at  the  Equator  in  an  equivalent  period;  mostly 
  uninhabitable 
 
  Antarctica:People 
 
  Population:  no  indigenous  inhabitants;  note  -  there  are  seasonally 
  staffed  research  stations 
  Summer  (January)  population:  over  4,115  total;  Argentina  207, 
  Australia  268,  Belgium  13,  Brazil  80,  Chile  256,  China  NA  Ecuador  NA 
  Finland  11,  France  78,  Germany  32,  Greenpeace  12,  India  60,  Italy  210, 
  Japan  59,  South  Korea  14,  Netherlands  10,  NZ  264,  Norway  23,  Peru  39, 
  Poland  NA  South  Africa  79,  Spain  43,  Sweden  10,  UK  116,  Uruguay  NA 
  US  1,666,  former  USSR  565  (1989-90) 
  Winter  (July)  population:  over  1,046  total;  Argentina  150,  Australia 
  71,  Brazil  12,  Chile  73,  China  NA  France  33,  Germany  19,  Greenpeace 
  5,  India  1,  Japan  38,  South  Korea  14,  NZ  11,  Poland  NA  South  Africa 
  12,  UK  69,  Uruguay  NA  US  225,  former  USSR  313  (1989-90) 
  Year-round  stations:  42  total;  Argentina  6,  Australia  3,  Brazil  1, 
  Chile  3,  China  2,  Finland  1,  France  1,  Germany  1,  India  1,  Japan  2, 
  South  Korea  1,  NZ  1,  Poland  1,  South  Africa  3,  UK  5,  Uruguay  1,  US  3, 
  former  USSR  6  (1990-91) 
  Summer  only  stations:  over  38  total;  Argentina  7,  Australia  3,  Chile 
  5,  Germany  3,  India  1,  Italy  1,  Japan  4,  NZ  2,  Norway  1,  Peru  1,  South 
  Africa  1,  Spain  1,  Sweden  2,  UK  1,  US  numerous,  former  USSR  5 
  (1989-90);  note  -  the  disintegration  of  the  former  USSR  has  placed  the 
  status  and  future  of  its  Antarctic  facilities  in  doubt;  stations  may 
  be  subject  to  closings  at  any  time  because  of  ongoing  economic 
  difficulties 
 
  Antarctica:Government 
 
  Names: 
  conventional  long  form:  none 
  conventional  short  form:  Antarctica 
 
  Digraph:  AY 
 
  Type: 
  Antarctic  Treaty  Summary:  The  Antarctic  Treaty,  signed  on  1  December 
  1959  and  entered  into  force  on  23  June  1961,  establishes  the  legal 
  framework  for  the  management  of  Antarctica.  Administration  is  carried 
  out  through  consultative  member  meetings  -  the  18th  Antarctic  Treaty 
  Consultative  Meeting  was  in  Japan  in  April  1993.  Currently,  there  are 
  42  treaty  member  nations:  26  consultative  and  16  acceding. 
  Consultative  (voting)  members  include  the  seven  nations  that  claim 
  portions  of  Antarctica  as  national  territory  (some  claims  overlap)  and 
  19  nonclaimant  nations.  The  US  and  some  other  nations  that  have  made 
  no  claims  have  reserved  the  right  to  do  so  The  US  does  not  recognize 
  the  claims  of  others  The  year  in  parentheses  indicates  when  an 
  acceding  nation  was  voted  to  full  consultative  (voting)  status,  while 
  no  date  indicates  the  country  was  an  original  1959  treaty  signatory. 
  Claimant  nations  are  -  Argentina,  Australia,  Chile,  France,  New 
  Zealand,  Norway,  and  the  UK  Nonclaimant  consultative  nations  are  - 
  Belgium,  Brazil  (1983),  China  (1985),  Ecuador  (1990),  Finland  (1989), 
  Germany  (1981),  India  (1983),  Italy  (1987),  Japan,  South  Korea  (1989), 
  Netherlands  (1990),  Peru  (1989),  Poland  (1977),  South  Africa,  Spain 
  (1988),  Sweden  (1988),  Uruguay  (1985),  the  US  and  Russia.  Acceding 
  nonvoting  members,  with  year  of  accession  in  parentheses,  are  - 
  Austria  (1987),  Bulgaria  (1978),  Canada  (1988),  Colombia  (1988),  Cuba 
  (1984),  Czech  Republic  (1993),  Denmark  (1965),  Greece  (1987), 
  Guatemala  (1991),  Hungary  (1984),  North  Korea  (1987),  Papua  New  Guinea 
  (1981),  Romania  (1971),  Slovakia  (1993),  Switzerland  (1990),  and 
  Ukraine  (1992). 
  Article  1:  area  to  be  used  for  peaceful  purposes  only;  military 
  activity,  such  as  weapons  testing,  is  prohibited,  but  military 
  personnel  and  equipment  may  be  used  for  scientific  research  or  any 
  other  peaceful  purpose 
  Article  2:  freedom  of  scientific  investigation  and  cooperation  shall 
  continue 
  Article  3:  free  exchange  of  information  and  personnel  in  cooperation 
  with  the  UN  and  other  international  agencies 
  Article  4:  does  not  recognize,  dispute,  or  establish  territorial 
  claims  and  no  new  claims  shall  be  asserted  while  the  treaty  is  in 
  force 
  Article  5:  prohibits  nuclear  explosions  or  disposal  of  radioactive 
  wastes 
  Article  6:  includes  under  the  treaty  all  land  and  ice  shelves  south  of 
  60  degrees  00  minutes  south 
  Article  7:  treaty-state  observers  have  free  access  including  aerial 
  observation,  to  any  area  and  may  inspect  all  stations,  installations, 
  and  equipment;  advance  notice  of  all  activities  and  of  the 
  introduction  of  military  personnel  must  be  given 
  Article  8:  allows  for  jurisdiction  over  observers  and  scientists  by 
  their  own  states 
  Article  9:  frequent  consultative  meetings  take  place  among  member 
  nations 
  Article  10:  treaty  states  will  discourage  activities  by  any  country  in 
  Antarctica  that  are  contrary  to  the  treaty 
  Article  11:  disputes  to  be  settled  peacefully  by  the  parties  concerned 
  or  ultimately,  by  the  ICJ 
  Articles  12,  13,  14:  deal  with  upholding,  interpreting,  and  amending 
  the  treaty  among  involved  nations 
  Other  agreements:  more  than  170  recommendations  adopted  at  treaty 
  consultative  meetings  and  ratified  by  governments  include  -  Agreed 
  Measures  for  the  Conservation  of  Antarctic  Fauna  and  Flora  (1964); 
  Convention  for  the  Conservation  of  Antarctic  Seals  (1972);  Convention 
  on  the  Conservation  of  Antarctic  Marine  Living  Resources  (1980);  a 
  mineral  resources  agreement  was  signed  in  1988  but  was  subsequently 
  rejected;  in  1991  the  Protocol  on  Environmental  Protection  to  the 
  Antarctic  Treaty  was  signed  and  awaits  ratification;  this  agreement 
  provides  for  the  protection  of  the  Antarctic  environment  through  five 
  specific  annexes  on  marine  pollution,  fauna,  and  flora,  environmental 
  impact  assessments,  waste  management,  and  protected  areas;  it  also 
  prohibits  all  activities  relating  to  mineral  resources  except 
  scientific  research;  14  parties  have  ratified  Protocol  as  of  April 
  1995 
 
  Legal  system:  US  law,  including  certain  criminal  offenses  by  or 
  against  US  nationals,  such  as  murder,  may  apply  to  areas  not  under 
  jurisdiction  of  other  countries.  Some  US  laws  directly  apply  to 
  Antarctica.  For  example,  the  Antarctic  Conservation  Act  16  U.S.C. 
  section  2401  et  seq.,  provides  civil  and  criminal  penalties  for  the 
  following  activities,  unless  authorized  by  regulation  of  statute:  The 
  taking  of  native  mammals  or  birds;  the  introduction  of  nonindigenous 
  plants  and  animals;  entry  into  specially  protected  or  scientific 
  areas;  the  discharge  or  disposal  of  pollutants;  and  the  importation 
  into  the  US  of  certain  items  from  Antarctica.  Violation  of  the 
  Antarctic  Conservation  Act  carries  penalties  of  up  to  $10,000  in  fines 
  and  1  year  in  prison.  The  Departments  of  Treasury,  Commerce, 
  Transportation,  and  Interior  share  enforcement  responsibilities. 
  Public  Law  95-541,  the  US  Antarctic  Conservation  Act  of  1978,  requires 
  expeditions  from  the  US  to  Antarctica  to  notify,  in  advance,  the 
  Office  of  Oceans  and  Polar  Affairs,  Room  5801,  Department  of  State, 
  Washington,  DC  20520,  which  reports  such  plans  to  other  nations  as 
  required  by  the  Antarctic  Treaty.  For  more  information  contact  Permit 
  Office,  Office  of  Polar  Programs,  National  Science  Foundation, 
  Arlington,  Virginia  22230  (703-306-1031). 
 
  Economy 
 
  Overview:  No  economic  activity  at  present  except  for  fishing  off  the 
  coast  and  small-scale  tourism,  both  based  abroad. 
 
  Antarctica:Transportation 
 
  Ports:  none;  offshore  anchorage 
 
  Airports:  42  landing  facilities  at  different  locations  operated  by  15 
  national  governments  party  to  the  Treaty;  one  additional  air  facility 
  operated  by  commercial  nongovernmental  tourist  organization; 
  helicopter  pads  at  36  of  these  locations;  runways  at  14  locations  are 
  gravel,  sea  ice,  glacier  ice,  or  compacted  snow  surface  suitable  for 
  wheeled  fixed-wing  aircraft;  no  paved  runways;  15  locations  have 
  snow-surface  skiways  limited  to  use  by  ski-equipped  planes  -  11 
  runways/skiways  1,000  to  3,000  m,  5  runways/skiways  less  than  1,000  m, 
  8  runways/skiways  greater  than  3,000  m,  and  5  of  unspecified  or 
  variable  length;  airports  generally  subject  to  severe  restrictions  and 
  limitations  resulting  from  extreme  seasonal  and  geographic  conditions; 
  airports  do  not  meet  ICAO  standards;  advance  approval  from  the 
  respective  governmental  or  non-governmental  operating  organization 
  required  for  landing 
 
  Antarctica:Communications 
 
  Telephone  system: 
  local:  NA 
  intercity:  NA 
  international:  NA 
 
  Radio: 
  broadcast  stations:  AM  NA  FM  NA  shortwave  NA 
  radios:  NA 
 
  Television: 
  broadcast  stations:  NA 
  televisions:  NA 
 
  Antarctica:Defense  Forces 
 
  Note:  the  Antarctic  Treaty  prohibits  any  measures  of  a  military 
  nature,  such  as  the  establishment  of  military  bases  and 
  fortifications,  the  carrying  out  of  military  maneuvers,  or  the  testing 
  of  any  type  of  weapon;  it  permits  the  use  of  military  personnel  or 
  equipment  for  scientific  research  or  for  any  other  peaceful  purposes 
 
 
 




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