Write these questions and your own answers down in
• Why do you think Antarctica is often left off maps of the
• In which part of Antarctica do you think this photograph was
• What do you already know about Antarctica?
Four Week Agenda
• Where is it – use the information to complete your maps
• Facts and figures – summarise the facts into 5 most
• Who owns it and why – Write a paragraph describing the
‘ownership of Antarctica
• Animal and plant life – A brief look at the animal life, fill
in the food web diagram
• Research & Tourism
• Explorers – Choose one of the explorers and complete
the attached project about that explorer
• Fill in the world map with the seven
continents and five oceans
• Much of the coastline of Antarctica is hidden beneath large
masses of ice that spread from the land-based ice sheets
across the surrounding seas.
• These ice shelves grow and decline depending on seasonal
and long-term temperature changes. The edge of the shelves
• scene of much spatial change over time as large chunks break
off and float away as icebergs.
• There are 42 of these floating shelves, some small and some
immense. The world’s two largest ice shelves are in
Antarctica: the Ross and the Ronne.
• Antarctica is a land of extremes.
• Located at the most southerly point of the Earth’s
surface, it is the highest, coldest, driest, windiest and
most isolated continent.
• While humans find Antarctica largely inhospitable, an
incredible array of birds and other animals live in
Antarctica and its surrounding islands and seas.
These animals are adapted to life on the great
The Antarctic Convergence marks the true outer edge of
• It is a strip of sea that goes all the way around Antarctica. It goes into the
Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
• The Antarctic convergence is around 40km wide and it has been there for
about 20 million years.
• The convergence is a complicated and turbulent area. Sea water cools
around the Antarctic continent and becomes heavier. This makes it sink
and flow north along the sea bed. It meets deep, warmer south-flowing
water from the equator at the Antarctic convergence.
• As the two meet, they rise to the surface taking many dissolved nutrients.
These act like a fertiliser for the southern ocean - and is the reason that
the seas around Antarctica are so surprisingly rich in life in spite of the
Points of reference
• Vostok - 78.45°S - Continental High Plateau - Russian base at the Southern
Geomagnetic Pole. It is close to the Pole of Inaccessibility, the point on the
Antarctic continent that is the furthest from any other and so the most
difficult or inaccessible place to get to. Consistently the coldest place on
earth. Holder of the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded on
the planet -89.2°C (-128.6°F) on July 21st 1983.
• Amundsen-Scott - 90°S - Continental High Plateau - American base at the
• McMurdo - 78.88°S - Continental High Latitude Coast - American base
• Rothera point - 67.56°S - Antarctic Peninsula - British base
Facts & Figures
• Antarctica is the 5th biggest continent and 10% of
the earth's land area
• Antarctica's total area is 14 million km2 in summer, in
winter it increases to 19 million km2
• Only 2% of the land is not covered in ice.
• Antarctic ice at its thickest reaches 5 km in depth
• Comprises almost 70% of the earth's fresh water. If
it all melted, sea levels would rise between 50 and 60
• Antarctica has the lowest recorded temperature; -
89.2°C at Vostock in 1983.
Facts & Figures
• Inland, temperatures range from -70°C in winter to -
35°C in summer.
• Corresponding figures for coastal regions are -30°C
• Antarctica is so cold because up to 80% of incoming
solar radiation is reflected back into space by ice and
• Antarctica is the windiest place on earth
• Antarctica is the driest place on earth