March 30, 2016

2420 ANTARCTICA - The map of the continent

Located almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, Antarctica is covered almost entirely by ice that averages 1.9km in thickness. Having nearly twice the size of Australia, is the fifth-largest continent in area. It is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C.

There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. An expedition led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first to reach the geographic South Pole on 14 December 1911. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra.

Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.

Seven states maintain a territorial claim on eight territories in Antarctica. Few of these countries have mutually recognized each other's claims, but the validity of these claims is not recognized universally. These country are:
Argentina - Argentine Antarctica (Department of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, and South Atlantic Islands Province)
Australia - Australian Antarctic Territory (External dependent territory of Australia)
Chile - Chilean Antarctic Territory (Commune of Antártica Chilena Province)
France - Adélie Land (District of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands)
New Zealand - Ross Dependency (Dependency of New Zealand)
Norway - Queen Maud Land and Peter I Island (Dependency of Norway)
United Kingdom - British Antarctic Territory (Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)

New claims on Antarctica have been suspended since 1959, when its status was regulated by Antarctic Treaty, followed by other related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System. The treaty was signed by twelve countries including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and the United States.It set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation and environmental protection, and banned military activity on Antarctica.

About the stamps
About the first stamp (or label) I wrote here. The real stamp is a Global Forever First-Class Mail International one, about which I wrote here.

Antarctica - Wikipedia

Sent from Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (Antarctica), on 25.01.201

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