Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who’s at the South Pole?

Not Santa Claus – he lives at the North Pole.  There are many penguins, but there are people too.  Approximately 3,000 Americans per year are at the South Pole through USAP (the United States Antarctic Program).  The USAP has had people researching and working at the South Pole since 1956 and currently operates three research stations.  At the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which is at the actual geographic South Pole, the temperature averages -60 degrees Fahrenheit all year.  For six months of the year, the South Pole has sunlight 24 hours per day.  The US is not the only country with people at there.  Forty-eight countries participate in the Antarctic Treaty sending people to research at the South Pole.   Click here to see photographs about the research happening at the South Pole. 
Facts about Antarctica from
·         Antarctica is bigger than US and Mexico combined
·         Antarctica is covered with ice and holds 90% of the world’s ice.  The ice averages over 7,000 feet thick and in some places is as much as 14,000 feet thick.
·         If the ice sheet in Antarctica were to melt, the worldwide sea levels would raise 200 feet.  California, Florida, New York and other coastal states would all be under water!
·         The ice sheet on Antarctica is constantly shifting and moves about 30 feet a year.  Parts of the ice sheet break off and fall into the ocean forming icebergs.  The largest iceberg is the size of Delaware.
This link is the online news center called the Arctic Sun, the source for what is happening at the South Pole. 

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