Polar Week: Polar Number Challenge – Take Three


APECS Polar Week 2018, Day Two, Polar Number: Micro-scale

Polar week, day three. Today APECS challenged us to share our micro-scale Polar Numbers. And since we are an Arctic based research training group our knowledge about Antarctica is on a micro-scale range compared to our knowledge about the Arctic so we decided to change sides today and summarize some #PolarNumbers about Antarctica for you:

  •  17,968 km (11,165 mi) is the length of Antarctica’s coastline
  • ~ 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice
  • 34 million years ago Antarctica’s ice sheet started to increase rapidly, before that it was nearly ice-free
  • 1820 is the year until when Antarctica has been undiscovered
  • 1959 is the year when 12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, followed by further 38 countries, an agreement that prohibits military activities, mineral mining, nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, it also supports scientific research and protects Antarctica’s ecozone

    Vostok ice core record displaying solar insolation, methane and carbon dioxide concentration as well as past temperatures and oxygen isotope records. (Petit et al., 1999)

  •  −89.2 °C is the coldest natural air temperature ever recorded on Earth on July 21st, 1983 at Vostok research station in Antarctica
  • 3700 m beneath Vostok research station, there is a freshwater lake (Lake Vostok) which contains more than 3500 different organisms. It is the world’s 6th largest lake by volume.
  • 420,000 years of climate record are saved in an ice core from Vostok research station
  • ~ 1.55 million sq. km is the size of the world’s largest marine protection area in the Ross Sea, where commercial fishing is prohibited for at least the coming 35 years

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