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Antarctica. 1: Introduction to a continent. Antarctica. Area = USA + Mexico Highest continent Driest Continent Windiest continent Coldest Continent Last inhabited continent Dark 50% of the year. Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen January 28, 1820. Nathaniel B. Palmer November 17, 1820.

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antarctica

Antarctica

1: Introduction to a continent

antarctica1
Antarctica
  • Area = USA + Mexico
  • Highest continent
  • Driest Continent
  • Windiest continent
  • Coldest Continent
  • Last inhabited continent
  • Dark 50% of the year
slide5

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen

January 28, 1820

Nathaniel B. Palmer

November 17, 1820

Edward Bransfield

January 30, 1820

james clark ross
1839-1843 Antarctic Expedition

HMS Erebus

HMS Terror

Sailed as far south as Ross Island, Ross Ice Shelf in the Ross Sea…

James Clark Ross
first antarctic winter cape adare 1899
First Antarctic winterCape Adare 1899

Carstens Borchgrevink

1864-1934

pre 1957
Richard E. Byrd

Admiral, US Navy

Private and US-funded expeditions

Meteorological research

First flight to South Pole

Commanded post-war Operation High Jump and Operation Deep Freeze

Pre-1957
international geophysical year 1957 58
International Geophysical Year 1957/58
  • Largely Meteorology and Atmospheric physics
  • Saw the US, NZ, UK, Australia etc etc. establish permanent bases, including at the South Pole
antarctic glaciation
Antarctic glaciation
  • First full-scale ice sheet ~ 34 Ma
  • Reached maximum ~15 Ma
  • Some fluctuations since then
    • e.g. at LGM Ross Ice shelf covered approx. 3x current area
  • Extinctions
    • Almost all terrestrial flora and fauna
the antarctic treaty
The Antarctic Treaty
  • in effect June 23 1961
  • Governs activities in Antarctica
  • Subsidiary treaties govern flora & Fauna, Seals, Marine Living resources the Environment
the antarctic treaty1
The Antarctic Treaty
  • Article 1 – Peaceful purposes only
    • Military personnel and equipment allowed, but only for peaceful purposes
  • Article 2 - freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation
  • Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel
  • Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims, prevents new claims.
  • Article 5 - No nuclear explosions or radioactive waste;
  • Article 6 - all land and ice shelves south of 60 degrees
  • Article 9 - frequent consultative meetings take place
protocol on environmental protection to the antarctic treaty
Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic treaty
  • In force 1998
  • Article 7:
  • “Any activity relating to mineral resources, other than scientific research, shall be prohibited.”
antarctic biology
Antarctic Biology
  • A long history
    • the first marine samples collected by Cook (18th C)
    • the first terrestrial samples collected in late 19th C
  • Biology was a major goal of many of the heroic era expeditions
habitats in antarctica
Habitats in Antarctica
  • Terrestrial
    • Nunataks
    • Coastal areas
    • Oases and Dry Valleys
habitats in antarctica1
Habitats in Antarctica
  • Marine
    • ‘Normal’ range of marine
      • Benthic
      • Pelagic
      • (Some) intertidal
    • Special habitats
      • Beneath ice shelves and sea ice
      • Associated with platelet ice
  • Freshwater
    • Streams
    • Lakes
    • Ponds
major issues in antarctic biology
Major issues in Antarctic Biology
  • Survival of environmental extremes
  • Responses to climate change
  • Origin of the flora and fauna
  • Sustainable use of marine resources