Animals in the Antarctic Ice

Published on Nov 15, 2013
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Animals in the Antarctic Ice

Animals in the Antarctic Ice
The wildlife of Antarctica are extremophiles, having to adapt to the dryness, low temperatures, and high exposure common in Antartica. The extreme weather of the interior contrasts to the relatively mild conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and the subantarctic islands, which have warmer temperatures and more liquid water. Much of the ocean around the mainland is covered by sea ice. The oceans themselves are a more stable environment for life, both in the water column and on the seabed.

The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of the Earth. It covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It covers an area of almost 14 million square km and contains 26.5 million cubic km of ice.[2] That is, approximately 61 percent of all fresh water on the Earth is held in the Antarctic ice sheet, an amount equivalent to 70 m of water in the world's oceans. In East Antarctica, the ice sheet rests on a major land mass, but in West Antarctica the bed can extend to more than 2,500 m below sea level. The land in this area would be seabed if the ice sheet were not there.