The continent is shaped somewhat like a comma, with a round body surrounding the pole and a tall curving toward South America. The round portion, lying mainly in the Eastern Hemisphere, makes up East Antarctica. The tail and its thickened base, located entirely in the Western Hemisphere, form West Antarctica. The total surface area is about 14. 2 million sq km (about 5. 5 million sq mils) in summer, approximately twice the size of Australia, half as big again as the USA and fifty times the size of the ASK. Antarctica Lies 1,000 km from South America, Its nearest neighbor; 4,000 km from Africa; and 2,500 km from Australia.
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Antarctica latitude relation and high elevations make it the coldest continent. Air temperatures of the inland regions can fall below -ICC in winter and rise only to-ICC during summer. The warmest coastal regions reach the freezing point in summer but drop well below in winter. The Antarctic content Is one of the harshest and most Inhospitable places on earth, yet despite this a wide range of species manages to survive in the desolate landscape, By contrast, the surrounding ocean abounds with life, as nutrient rich water wells up from the depth. The ice cap in the centre holds over half the world’s fresh water.
It is room within these icy depths that scientists hope to UN-ravel the secrets of the long- term fluctuations In the earth’s climate. As scientific research takes place, It could assist us to understand new medical advances and vital information to allow mankind move onto the next generation. Ever since Antarctica was discovered in 17th of January 1773, there has been a growing Interest of scientific research and profitable oil, minerals and seafood available there. After realizing that there was no way to being able to equally share the resources and retrieve the minerals without disturbing the harsh and fragile environment and ecosystem.
There are few places on Earth where there has never been war, where the environment is fully protected, and where scientific research has priority. The whole of the Antarctic continent Is like this. A land which the Antarctic Treaty parties call a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. The Antarctic Treaty came into force on 23 June 1961 after the negotiation of the twelve original signatory countries then active in Antarctic science. The Treaty covers the area south of SASS latitude. Its objectives are simple yet unique In International relations.
They are: to demoralize Antarctica, to establish it as a zone ere of nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste, and to ensure that it is used for peaceful purposes only, to promote international scientific cooperation in Antarctica; all scientific research has to be shared with the other countries also Argentina, Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile, France, New Zealand and Norway- claim territory in Antarctica although other nations, including the United States and Russia, do not need to acknowledge these claims and make no claims of their own, but still reserve rights to claim territory in the future, since they form the twelve original signatories of the ‘TATS’. Twenty-eight nations, including the I-J, have Consultative status. The Treaty parties meet each year at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. They have adopted over 300 recommendations and negotiated separate international agreements, of which three are still in use. These, together with the original Treaty provide the rules, which govern activities in Antarctica. Collectively they are known as the Antarctic Treaty System.
The three additional international agreements are: Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972), Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980) ND the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991) As of May 2000, 15 additional nations (Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Spain, and Uruguay) have gained consultative status by acceding to the Treaty and by conducting important scientific research in Antarctica. Another 17 nations have signed to the Antarctic Treaty: Austria, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Papua New Guiana, Romania, Slovakia Republic, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
These nations agree to abide by the treaty and may attend consultative meetings as observers. The 48 Antarctic Treaty nations represent about two-thirds of the world’s human population, of which 12 are original members and Consultative Parties, 28 Consultative Parties with voting status at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and 20 Non-consultative Parties with observer status. Seven of the 12 original signatory had already laid territorial claims in Antarctica; several of these claims overlapped. These overlapping claims were a potential cause of the very “international discord” the Treaty sought to avoid. Overlapping claims were also made my countries that expected an equal share and claimed land over other countries.
There are many interest groups that agree to the development of Antarctica, the majority of them represent viable reasons towards the development. Fishermen are an interest group that agrees to development of Antarctica, there Justifications are: There are plenty of fish in the ocean, enough for everyone. The world’s population is rising, and krill may be the answer to global food shortage. No one owns these waters, they belong to everyone. Fishing has taken place for hundreds of years and it’s Just a sustainable DOD source. We depend upon fishing to make our livelihood. We will agree to fish quotas, like the majority of fishers do. Researchers are drawn in by Antarctica interesting environment and wish to carry on there research.
There reasons include: Its greatest value might be the information it can provide about our planet. It’s the best location to monitor the Ozone Hole. The ice can be tested to show past levels of global pollution and help us closely compare to our current results of global pollution. There is an anti-freeze protein contained in a fish’s blood stream, which reverts their bodies from freezing in Antarctica sub-zero icy waters. Also there is potential research that could help in surgeries to reduce the blood pressure, so less the important minerals that assist us in every day life although the world Is shorting of these important resources and provide more Jobs.
Reasons for it are: There are huge reserves of coal, oil and precious metals. They will serve the worlds needs. As non-renewable resources run out we need to find other sources. As is it important to protect Antarctica amazing environment and landscapes, it should be open to the public to visit. Tourists do not have a negative impact on Antarctic although they do provide positive impacts. Reasons for tourism are: People should be allowed to see the area, as the world belongs to us. Environmentally friendly tourism provides money for conservation projects. Internationally agreed guidelines reduce the effects that tourist have e. G. Tourists have to take their rubbish with them.
Waste disposal experts believe that as the world produces more nuclear waste, Antarctica could provide somewhere to store it. Although it is believed that Antarctica is the only continent on earth that is a military free-zone the land should be preserved. From a Military spokesman his reasons for development are: The fact that no one lives there it would be an ideal place to test new weapons & nuclear bombs. Interest groups that are against the development of Antarctica also have equally viable reasons for the conservation of Antarctica. They are: World Wildlife Fund (WFM) Supporter they are against the development because of the potential damage that could be caused by the fishermen.
They believe that: Fishermen do not stick to quotas, 70,000 tones of illegal catches are made each year. Cod can live for over 50 years and it takes 10 years to start reproducing. If younger fish are caught the numbers will fall. Over 140,000 seabirds are killed each year. Long lines baited with up to 20,000 hooks are trailed of the backs of boats. If the birds take the hooks in their mouths, they are pulled under the water and drowned. Conservationists argue that: Removing waste is very difficult and costly and so people wouldn’t do it unless they were forced to. 48 research centers house over 4,000 people in the summer are too many already.
In the past, scientists Just dumped their poisonous and radioactive waste, pumped millions of liters of raw sewage into the ocean and burnt their rubbish. Green Peace is afraid that: The Southern Ocean is now a whale sanctuary and although whaling was banned in 1986 numbers remained very low and whales may become extinct. CEO- Campaigners since their purpose is to stop anything that can potentially cause a negative impact on the ecosystem and since especially Antarctica is home to a particularly fragile ecosystem. They believe that: Tourism in Antarctica is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. Over 11,200 visitors came ashore in 1998 alone. Tour operators are out to make as big a profit as possible, not to save the environment. Their guidelines are not law.
The increasing number of tourist flights disturbs the nesting birds and their flying patterns and also the carbon emission of the plane will not be beneficial towards the ozone layer. An Antarctic explorer will argue that: Mineral exploration has caused oil spells. The environment has been scarred, soil has been removed and dynamite has been used. In 1989 a transport ship sank and leaked 170,000 gallons of oil. Personally I believe that we should be able to develop Antarctica and there are many reasons as to why. Firstly there are many useful resources like coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, gold and there minerals can be found. It will be very beneficial to mankind if scientific research needed to be able to notice if the impacts of the rise of global pollution could result in global warming.
Although I agree that everyone has the right to visit Antarctica and CEO-friendly tourist trips profit could go to further research. I believe that the number of tourists allowed into Antarctica a year should be restricted. So that carbon emissions can be reduced, also it can stop major oil leaks from big tourist cruises, if we restrict the radius of the distance big cruises or cargo ships are allowed o reduce crashes and the restriction of oil (fuel) allowed to be carried per ship. I have been convinced that the world is running out of space to dump nuclear waste but I do not believe that we should be allowed to dump it in Antarctica where the CEO-system and environment are already under a lot of pressure.
It could cause food chains and pyramids to collapse even within the smallest of changes, the reduction of the population of krill could cause the whales population to decrease as they contest for their meals. I am completely against the test of new weapons and nuclear mobs because although it is said to be perfect location to carry out these experiments. It could have large negative impact on also the food chains and pyramids- radioactive sickness could kill millions of species every time a nuclear weapon is tested. As for fishing, 70,000 tons of illegal catches are made each year and since it takes 10 years for cod to start reproducing baby fish are being caught and could effect cod’s reproduction cycles, it’s way to many illegal catches a year never mind legal too.