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ENGLISH AND SOCIAL STUDIES

Antarctic facts

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ANTARCTIC FACTS

 

WEATHER FACTS

 

The Coldest Place on Earth

 

• At the South Pole the average temperature is - 49 degrees C.

• In winter when there is darkness 24 hours a day, temperatures of -80 degrees C have been recorded.

• In summer the maximum temperature over the interior does not exceed -15 degrees C. At the     coast it is milder and the temperatures usually only just reach 0 degrees C. 

• It mostly snows but less than 50mm of snow per year. Rain rarely falls

• More snow falls than melts each year so there is an accumulation of snow.

 

Why is it so cold?

• It is so far away from the equator and receives little radiation (heat) from the sun.

• The tilt of the earth’s axis accounts for less solar reaching the Antarctic than the Arctic.

• Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is land surrounded by water, and the ice and snow reflect 80% of the sun’s heat back into space.

 

The Windiest Place on Earth

 

• Strong gales blow across Antarctica at more than 80-145kph and often last up to 10 days.

• The windiest place of all is Commonwealth Bay where gales can reach 320kph.

• Strong winds pulled down by gravity sweep down from the high plateau and accelerate to the coast.

• These winds are called ‘katabatic winds’ and can spring up in just a minute. They can blow for days.

• In June when we have our longest night, there is no daylight at all in Antarctica.

• In July there are two hours of daylight but in January there are 24.

 

Construct a Climate Graph to compare Antarctica with Wellington

 

Month

Temperature for
the South Pole

Temperature for
Scott Base

January

-27

-5

February

-45

-14

March

-56

-17

April

-55

-25

May

-56

-27

June

-59

-32

July

-60

-29

August

-60

-27

September

-59

-23

October

-47

-21

November

-31

-11

December

-27

-3

(Temperatures in Degrees Celsius)

Month

Auckland

Hamilton

Wellington

Christchurch

Dunedin

January

20.1

18.3

16.9

17.4

15.2

February

20.3

18.6

17

17.1

15

March

19.4

17.1

15.8

15.5

13.8

April

16.9

14.5

13.7

12.8

11.9

May

14.3

11.6

11.3

9.5

9.1

June

12.3

9.4

9.4

6.8

7

July

11.4

8.7

8.7

6.5

6.5

August

12.1

9.8

9.2

7.7

7.6

September

13.5

11.5

10.6

10

9.3

October

14.8

13.1

12

12.2

10.9

November

16.7

15

13.5

14.2

12.4

December

18.5

16.9

15.4

16.1

14

(Temperatures in Degrees Celsius)

Climate graph Outline

Location:

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-10

-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-20

-30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-30

-40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-40

-50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-50

-60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-60

Degrees

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Degrees

Questions:

Describe the temperature of Scott Base and the South Pole.

Describe the temperature of where you live.

Construct a chart showing the problems of living in such a climate and how you would solve them – think about daily life, activities, clothing etc – list at least 5

Problem

Solution

 

 

USEFUL WEBSITES

Current Scott Base temperature

www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/weather/SBweather/sbweather.html

 

Current South Pole temperature

http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/89009.html

NASA Antarctic Website and useful Links

http://www.resa.net/nasa/antarctica.htm

 

Virtual Antarctica

• Students can take a pictorial and informative tour of Antarctica

including plants, animals, transport …

http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour/

 

 

 


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