The climate of Antarctica

The climate of Antarctica is the coldest and harsh on the globe. This is primarily determined by the geographic position of the continent and a significant height above sea level. In the central part of the city there is Polar Day, half a year – Polar Night. During the Polar day, the sun does not go beyond the horizon at all. During this period of the year, more solar heat enters Antarctica than in the equatorial region. According to the small angle of incidence of the sun’s rays, the continent does not allow to warm up, and the white surface of the ice reflects up to 90% of the thermal radiation. This explains the low average daily air temperatures, which in summer do not rise above -30 ° C, and in winter they are below 70 ° C. The lowest temperature observed in Antarctica and around the world was recorded at the Russian station Vostok.

Extremely low temperatures lead to the formation of downward air currents and the formation of an area of ​​constantly high

atmospheric pressure. And this causes an extremely small amount of precipitation. Due to the great difference in atmospheric pressure over the interior regions of Antarctica and over the oceans, its surrounding, constant winds from the mainland are blowing in the coastal strip. These winds were called stock. When cooled, the air density increases, and it seems to be draining the continent towards the ocean under the influence of its weight. Since the ice cover of Antarctica is level and does not create obstacles in the way of winds, their speed sometimes reaches 200 km / h. Winds, lifting into the air large masses of snow, demolish them from the mainland.

Almost the whole territory of the continent is located in the Antarctic climatic zone. Antarctic air masses dominate here. The weather is frosty and dry. Only the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula enters the sub-Antarctic belt, which is influenced by warmer and humid moderate air masses in the summer, and in the winter by cold and dry Antarctic belts.

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The climate of Antarctica