12.1.06

So you thought we were all sunburnt did you?

Well you kind of made a slight blue there and as you can see by the map pictured we claim the largest claim of any nation Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest and highest continent in the world. It is also the most isolated. This southernmost land of ice and snow, where for part of the year the sun doesn't rise and for another part, never sets, sits alone more than 2500 kilometres south of Hobart. Only one native warm-blooded animal remains on the Antarctic continent during the freezing winter--the emperor penguin. No human has ever made a permanent home in Antarctica. But people do visit--mostly scientists, support personnel, and tourists. To some it becomes a way of life and they may go back south many times over the years. We have maintained bases here since 1947 and are forever conducting tests etc. Did you know that Antarctica, the fifth largest continent on the planet, is also the driest and coldest. Just 2500 kilometres from Australia, the temperatures can fall as low as -64 Celcius during the frigid, dark winters and seldom rises above 0 Celcius during the days of 24 hour sunshine of summer. The very name Antarctica conjures up visions of white, alien landscapes, great adventure, terrible danger and tragedy. A harsh, frozen wilderness of incredible beauty and mystery almost untouched by human interference. The Antarctic Treaty was drawn up by International agreement to safeguard this unique continent's fragile landscape and ensure its rich resources are only used for peaceful purposes. How those men and women hack it down there in those temperatures has me slightly puzzled. It was rumoured that there was a UFO base here and I have read many a web site remarking about that but nothing was really proven Australia claims as territory nearly six million of Antarctica's 13.5 million square kilometres, a patch roughly the size of Australia without Queensland, and the largest Antarctic claim of any nation. The Antarctic Treaty, which Australia signed in 1959, neither supports not denies claims of sovereignty. Only four other nations--France, New Zealand, Norway and Britain, which each also claim part of Antarctica--have formally recognised Australia's claim. But geography reveals the true connection. Australia and Antarctica, the only continents entirely within the southern hemisphere, were physically connected in the Gondwana super continent, and in human terms have been linked since explorers searched first for the mythical Great South Land, Terra Australis. Australia, through the Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, sends scientists and the people who support them to Antarctica under the umbrella of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE). Researchers from government organisations, including the Antarctic Division itself, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Geoscience Australia and CSIRO, and from Australian and foreign research bodies, conduct and support the scientific work of ANARE. The Australian Antarctic Division maintains three permanent year-round stations and several temporary (summer only) bases on the Antarctic continent, as well as a permanent station on sub Antarctic Macquarie Island. Australian expeditioners stay in Antarctica for as long as a year and a half but not always; and don't you just love these Huskies I know I do.

2 comments:

  1. We just watched "March of the Penguins" the other day. Those penguins are delightful.

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  2. Thanks for looking Tweetums.
    I just had a quick squiz at you'rs, will return later for another look.
    we do have a variety of Penguin on the mainland of Australia called Fairy Penguins who live down in Sydney and Phillip Island in Victoria as I have seen them

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