Antarctic Lakes

The Antarctic continent, including its ice shelves, has an area of 13.8 million km2, about half the size of North America and 1.3 times the size of Europe. It is also the highest, windiest, coldest, and driest of the continents. Almost the entire land surface of Antarctica is covered by a vast ice cap, with an area more than six times larger than its counterpart in Greenland. In places, the ice cap is 4 km thick. Here, summer temperatures rarely get above −20°C and monthly means fall below −60°C in winter. Vostok station, at 78°South holds the record for the lowest ever temperature recorded at the surface of the Earth (−89.5°C). On the coasts of Antarctica temperatures are generally close to freezing in the summer months (December–February), or even slightly positive, particularly in the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula.


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Authors: Hodgson, Dominic A. ORCIDORCID record for Dominic A. Hodgson

Editors: Bengtsson, Lars, Herschy, Reginald W., Fairbridge, Rhodes W.

On this site: Dominic Hodgson
1 January, 2012
In: Bengtsson, Lars, Herschy, Reginald W., Fairbridge, Rhodes W. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs, Dordrecht, Springer, 26-31.
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