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Antarctica

Antarctica

Summary

Antarctica does not have an established governmental system. It is presided over by the Antarctic Treaty, an international agreement about the use and governance of the continent. In total, there are 48 treaty member nations, with Australia responsible for managing the largest percentage of the Antarctic land. There are several permanent and seasonal scientific research facilities that are based in Antarctica.1 Antarctica is home to a number of species of penguins, seals and whales,2 and the wildlife is protected by provisions in the Antarctic treaty3 The treaty also prohibits military activities, mineral mining, nuclear explosions, and the disposal of nuclear waste.4 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ay.html
2 http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/continent-7-antarctica/galleries/animals-of-antarctica/at/the-adlie-penguin-2110204/
3 https://ats.aq/e/ats_environ.htm
4 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ay.html

Explore Antarctica Subcases

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Environment
Economy
Government
Health
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Children
Animals

Environment

The Antarctic Treaty strictly prohibits military activities, mineral mining, nuclear explosions, and the disposal of nuclear waste.1 Antarctica is the coldest continent on earth with the coldest recorded temperature of -128.9 degrees Fahrenheit.2 There is concern over the effects that global warming will have on the continent; as a result, research on sea level rise, climate, sea ice and oceanic ecosystems is conducted on the continent.3

Economy

Since Antarctica does not have a government there is no centralized economy. However, there are several scientific bases and research facilities that are maintained by various countries such as the United States, Argentina and Chile.1 These bases also allow tourists, and other visitors, to visit Antarctica and stay for as little as 2 months to as much as 5 years.2 An increase in tourism in the recent decade as well as coastal fishing have helped buoy the economy. Each year there are approximately 12,000–14,000 tourists who visit Antarctica.3

Government

Antarctica does not have an established governmental system. However, the Antarctic Treaty, an international agreement about the use and governance of the continent, states that, “No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force.”1 In total, there are 48 treaty member nations, with Australia responsible for managing the largest percentage of land in Antarctica.2 There are several permanent and seasonal scientific research facilities that exist on Antarctica.3

Health

Severely low temperatures and high winds are the primary health concerns in Antarctica.1 Due to the close living quarters of research bases, visitors are exposed to the risk of contact disease such as influenza, mumps, and measles. At research facilities in Antarctica, access to medical care is very limited.2 Solar damage to the skin and eyes is quite common with the dry weather, bright sun and high winds. Hypothermia is also a concern with the obvious low temperatures.3 As the South Pole stands at 2800 meter elevation, the barometric pressure is low, making altitude sickness a concern.4

Family

No data available.1

Human Rights

No data available.1

Education

No data available.1

Poverty

No data available.1

Religion

No data available.1

Clean Water

No data available.1

Children

Eleven children have been born on Antarctica, as of 2011.1 The first of which was Argentinian, Emilio Marcos Palma.2

Animals

Various species of penguins, seals and whales inhabit the Antarctic Peninsula and its surrounding islands.1 Antarctica’s wildlife is protected largely by provisions of the Antarctic Treaty,2 though the Patagonian toothfish is often the subject of unregulated fishing.3

Antarctica

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