Antarctic Geography Stats


  • Area > Comparative: The area of various small countries expressed in comparison to various areas within the United States of America.
  • Area > Comparative to US places: This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).
  • Area > Land: Total land area in square kilometres
  • Area > Note: This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.
  • Area > Total: Total area in square kilometers
  • Climate: A brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year.
  • Coastline: The total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea.
  • Countries on other side of the world: Countries diametrically opposite of each other. For instance, if one were to draw a straight line though the center of the earth in Argentina it would end in China. These countries are considered antipodes.
  • Elevation extremes > Highest point: Highest point above sea level
  • Elevation extremes > Lowest point: This entry is derived from Geography > Elevation extremes, which includes both the highest point and the lowest point.
  • Environment > Current issues: This entry lists the most pressing and important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry:
    Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions (see acid rain).
    Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide; acid rain is damaging and potentially deadly to the earth's fragile ecosystems; acidity is measured using the pH scale where 7 is neutral, values greater than 7 are considered alkaline, and values below 5.6 are considered acid precipitation; note - a pH of 2.4 (the acidity of vinegar) has been measured in rainfall in New England.
    Aerosol - a collection of airborne particles dispersed in a gas, smoke, or fog.
    Afforestation - converting a bare or agricultural space by planting trees and plants; reforestation involves replanting trees on areas that have been cut or destroyed by fire.
    Asbestos - a naturally occurring soft fibrous mineral commonly used in fireproofing materials and considered to be highly carcinogenic in particulate form.
    Biodiversity - also biological diversity; the relative number of species, diverse in form and function, at the genetic, organism, community, and ecosystem level; loss of biodiversity reduces an ecosystem's ability to recover from natural or man-induced disruption.
    Bio-indicators - a plant or animal species whose presence, abundance, and health reveal the general condition of its habitat.
    Biomass - the total weight or volume of living matter in a given area or volume.
    Carbon cycle - the term used to describe the exchange of carbon (in various forms, e.g., as carbon dioxide) between the atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial biosphere, and geological deposits.
    Catchments - assemblages used to capture and retain rainwater and runoff; an important water management technique in areas with limited freshwater resources, such as Gibraltar.
    DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) - a colorless, odorless insecticide that has toxic effects on most animals; the use of DDT was banned in the US in 1972.
    Defoliants - chemicals which cause plants to lose their leaves artificially; often used in agricultural practices for weed control, and may have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health.
    Deforestation - ...
    Full definition
  • Geographic coordinates: This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the purpose of finding the approximate geographic center of an entity and is based on the Gazetteer of Conventional Names, Third Edition, August 1988, US Board on Geographic Names and on other sources.
  • Note: This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere.
  • Google Street View, year added: Year in which country was first covered by Google Street View.
  • Land use > Arable land: The percentage of used land that is arable. Arable land is land cultivated for crops that are replanted after each harvest like wheat, maize, and rice
  • Land use > Other: The percentage share of used land that is not arable or under permanent crops. This includes permanent meadows and pastures, forests and woodlands, built-on areas, roads, barren land, etc.
  • Land use > Permanent crops: The percentage share of used land on which permanent crops are grown. This is land cultivated for crops that are not replanted after each harvest like citrus, coffee, and rubber. It includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber.
  • Location: The country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.
  • Lowest point: Lowest point.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Lowest point altitude: Altitude.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Map references: The name of the CIA World Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.
  • Marine Coastline: Length of each country's coastline in kilometers.
  • Maritime claims: Includes the contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, exclusive fishing zone, and territorial sea. Full and definitive definitions can be found in the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention
  • Natural hazards: Potential natural disasters.
  • Natural resources: A country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance.
  • Population density: People per square kilometre, in 1999. At this time the world average was 14.42.
  • Terrain: A brief description of the topography
Area > A note fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the subcontinent of Europe 2003
Area > Comparative slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US 2013
Area > Comparative to US places slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US 2008
Area > Land 14 million sq km 2008 2nd out of 235
Area > Note fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the subcontinent of Europe 2008
Area > Total 14 million sq km 2013 2nd out of 251
Climate severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean; East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation; Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing 2013
Coastline 17,968 km 2014 10th out of 242
Countries on other side of the world Greenland , Canada , United States , Russia , Norway 2014
Elevation extremes > Highest point Vinson Massif 4,897 m 2013
Elevation extremes > Lowest point Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,540 m 2013
Environment > Current issues in 1998, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole was the largest on record, covering 27 million square kilometers; researchers in 1997 found that increased ultraviolet light passing through the hole damages the DNA of icefish, an Antarctic fish lacking hemoglobin; ozone depletion earlier was shown to harm one-celled Antarctic marine plants; in 2002, significant areas of ice shelves disintegrated in response to regional warming 2013
Geographic coordinates 90 00 S, 0 00 E 2013
Note the coldest, windiest, highest (on average), and driest continent; during summer, more solar radiation reaches the surface at the South Pole than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period; mostly uninhabitable 2013
Google Street View, year added 2,010 2014 48th out of 73
Land use > Arable land 0.0 2013 215th out of 246
Land use > Other 100% 2011 1st out of 245
Land use > Permanent crops 0.0 2013 203th out of 247
Location continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle 2013
Lowest point Bentley Subglacial Trench 2014
Lowest point altitude \u22122,540 m (\u22128,333 ft) 2014
Map references Antarctic Region 2013
Marine Coastline 17,968 km 2014 10th out of 242
Maritime claims Australia, Chile, and Argentina claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights or similar over 200 nm extensions seaward from their continental claims, but like the claims themselves, these zones are not accepted by other countries; 21 of 28 Antarctic consultative nations have made no claims to Antarctic territory (although Russia and the US have reserved the right to do so) and do not recognize the claims of the other nations; also see the Disputes - international entry 2008
Natural hazards katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau; cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may calve from ice shelf 2008
Natural resources iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small noncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries 2013
Population density 0.0 1999 232nd out of 255
Terrain about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent 2013



Did you know

  • Canada has a longer coastline than the USA, the European Union, Australia and Antarctica combined.

  • If you thought Antarctica was inhospitable, think again - its land area is only ninety-eight percent ice. Reassuringly, the other 2% is categorised as "barren rock".

Antarctica Geography Profiles (Subcategories)

Area 6 Land use 3

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