Most of these meteorites have fallen onto the ice sheet in the last million years. English: Scientific names Fungi - Ascomycota - Ascomycetes - Lecanorales - Parmeliaceae Zenker, 1827 – Usnea Species: Usnea antarctica Du Rietz, 1926. With an average temperature of less than –57°C at … [145][146] Some of these species are cryptoendoliths as a result of evolution under extreme conditions, and have significantly contributed to shaping the impressive rock formations of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and surrounding mountain ridges. Despite the lack of precipitation over the central portion of the continent, ice there lasts for extended periods. On top of this base are coal and various modern rocks, such as sandstones, limestones and shales laid down during the Devonian and Jurassic periods to form the Transantarctic Mountains. Antarctica - Antarctica - Climate: The unique weather and climate of Antarctica provide the basis for its familiar appellations—Home of the Blizzard and White Desert. She was a daughter of Fridthjof Jacobsen, the assistant manager of the whaling station, and Klara Olette Jacobsen. They are highly adapted, and can be divided into three main types; crustose lichens, forming thin crusts on the surface, foliose lichens, forming leaf-like lobes, and fructicose lichens, which grow like shrubs. Similar adaptations help plants, algae, fungi, and lichens survive in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Third, the Earth is at aphelion in July (i.e., the Earth is farthest from the Sun in the Antarctic winter), and the Earth is at perihelion in January (i.e., the Earth is closest to the Sun in the Antarctic summer). Vegetation and Wildlife of Antarctica. The largest of them by far is the Toraton. A sun dog, a frequent atmospheric optical phenomenon, is a bright "spot" beside the true sun. The first meteorite was found in 1912 and named the Adelie Land meteorite. Two flowering plants, Deschampsia antarctica (Antarctic hair grass) and Colobanthus quitensis (Antarctic pearlwort), are found on the northern and western parts of the Antarctic Peninsula. [1], Although coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, gold and other minerals have been found, they have not been in large enough quantities to exploit. By the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma, Antarctica (then connected to Australia) still had a subtropical climate and flora, complete with a marsupial fauna. [174] In 1988, the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources (CRAMRA) was adopted. Much of the Arctic shows little impact from human activities, making it one of the few places on earth one can see intact ecosystems. [59] In 2004, a potentially active underwater volcano was found in the Antarctic Peninsula by American and Canadian researchers. [130] Ozone absorbs large amounts of ultraviolet radiation in the stratosphere. Many astronomical observations are better made from the interior of Antarctica than from most surface locations because of the high elevation, which results in a thin atmosphere; low temperature, which minimises the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere; and absence of light pollution, thus allowing for a view of space clearer than anywhere else on Earth. Under such severe and harsh conditions there is hardly any vegetation in the Antarctic. Add 24 hours of darkness during the winter months, and it’s a wonder anything lives there. Ozone depletion over Antarctica can cause a cooling of around 6 °C in the local stratosphere. The Federated States of Antarctica is a highly-ambitious micronation proposed on the Antarctic continent. Paleontologist Gilbert Brenner identified the emergence of a distinct southern Gondwanan flora by the late Cretaceous period in the cooler and humid southern hemisphere regions of Australia, southern South America, southern Africa, Antarctica, and New Zealand; it most resembled the flora of modern-day southern New Zealand. Offshore, temperatures are also low enough that ice is formed from seawater through most of the year. [130] Models suggest that ozone depletion and the enhanced polar vortex effect also account for the period of increased sea ice just offshore of the continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. Those features can also be observed in algae and cyanobacteria, suggesting that these are adaptations to the conditions prevailing in Antarctica. 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