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  • Antarctica
    • Physical features
      • Very large, nearly 60 times the size of the UK
      • 98% covered by snow and ice up to 4.5km thick
      • Coldest continent with average temp of -49°C near South Pole
      • Little precipitation as snow mainly falls near coasts.
      • Earth's biggest desert
      • Average altitude is 2300m higer than any continent
    • Life in Antartica
      • Sea is warmer than land
      • The upwelling of nutrient rich water supports a very rich food web
      • Phytoplankton, krill, fish, penguins, seals, squid and whale
    • Importance of Antartica
      • The ice regulates sea levels by storing water on land
      • The high albedo of ice reduces heating of the atmosphere by sunlight
    • Threats
      • Global climate change
        • Water may act as a lubricant causing glaciers to move seaward more rapidly
        • Glaciers break up becoming iceburgs
        • Reduced krill population
      • Ozone depletion
        • Increased UV light levels may cause decline in populations affecting rest of food web
      • Tourism
        • Waste disposal, oil spills, disturbance of wildlife
        • Disease spreading
      • Overfishing
        • Threatens whole food chain if one part of food chain is disturbed
    • Conservation
      • Antarctic Treaty
        • Only used for peaceful purposes
        • Military only present to support research
        • Free exchange of information
        • Nuclear explosion or radioactive waste disposal banned
        • Commercial exploitation of minerals is banned
        • Conservation of living organisms include marine life
        • Environmental impact of tourism monitored


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