Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Science Facts about Antartic

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Why is Antarctica so Cold?
Several factors combine to making Antarctica one of the coldest and least hospitable places on the Earth:

  • Unlike the Arctic region, Antarctica is a continent surrounded by an ocean which means that interior areas do not benefit from the moderating influence of water.
  • With 98% of its area covered with snow and ice, the Antarctic continent reflects most of the sun's light rather than absorbing it.
  • The extreme dryness of the air causes any heat that is radiated back into the atmosphere to be lost instead of being absorbed by the water vapor in the atmosphere.
  • During the winter, the size of Antarctica doubles as the surrounding sea water freezes, effectively blocking heat transfer from the warmer surrounding ocean.
  • Antarctica has a higher average elevation than any other continent on Earth which results in even colder temperatures.

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