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Antarctica

Flag: Antarctica
Geography
 
Location:Continent mostly south of the Antarctic Circle
Area:Total: 14 million sq km Land: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km ice-covered) (est.) note: fifth-largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, but larger than Australia and the subcontinent of Europe
Land boundaries:None
Map: Antarctica
Climate:Severe low temperatures vary with latitude, elevation, and distance from the ocean. East Antarctica is colder than West Antarctica because of its higher elevation. Antarctic Peninsula has the most moderate climate; higher temperatures occur in January along the coast and average slightly below freezing
People
 
Population:No indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and summer-only staffed research stations note
Government
 
Government type:Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and came into force on 23 June 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica. The 29th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Edinburgh, UK in June 2006. At these periodic meetings, decisions are made by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; at the end of 2006, there were 46 treaty member nations: 28 consultative and 18 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations. The US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims. The US does not recognize the claims of others. Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations. Decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws. A permanent Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in 2004 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Legal system:See Government type above




This article was compiled with the aid of the CIA World Fact book.



 
 
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