The Antarctic (// or //) is a polar region, specifically the region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica and the ice shelves, waters, and island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence. The region covers some 20% of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5% (14 million km2) is the surface area of the continent itself.
The maritime part of the region constitutes the area of application of the international Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), where for technical reasons the Convention uses an approximation of the Convergence line by means of a line joining specified points along parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. The implementation of the Convention is managed through an international Commission headquartered in Hobart, Australia, by an efficient system of annual fishing quotas, licenses and international inspectors on the fishing vessels, as well as satellite surveillance.
The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole. Situated on the continent of Antarctica, it is the site of the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which was established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year. The Geographic South Pole should not be confused with the South Magnetic Pole, which though geographically nearby, is defined based on the Earth's magnetic field.
Colonization of Antarctica refers to having humans including families living permanently on the continent of Antarctica. Currently only some scientists live there temporarily. Antarctica is the only continent on Earth without indigenous human inhabitants.
At present scientists and staff from 30 countries live on about seventy bases (40 year-round and 30 summer-only), with an approximate population of 4000 in summer and 1000 in winter. There have been at least ten births in Antarctica, eight at an Argentine base (including the first one) and two at a Chilean base.
Antarctica has permanently and seasonally staffed research stations, field camps, and former whaling settlements. The largest of these, McMurdo Station, has a population (summer) of about 1200 residents. Approximately 29 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, send personnel to perform seasonal (summer) and year-round research on the continent and in its surrounding oceans. The population of persons doing and supporting scientific research on the continent and its nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region covered by the Antarctic Treaty) varies from approximately 4,000 in summer to 1,000 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000 personnel including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard research are present in the waters of the treaty region.
At least ten children have been born in West Antarctica. The first was Emilio Marcos Palma, born on January 7, 1978 to Argentine parents at Esperanza, Hope Bay, near the tip of the Antarctic peninsula. In 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho was born at the Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva Base, becoming the first Chilean born in Antarctica. Soon after, a girl, Gisella, was born at the same station. In 2001, National Geographic reported that eight children had been born at Esperanza alone.
Physical geography (also known as geosystems or physiography) is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
Within the body of physical geography, the Earth is often split either into several spheres or environments, the main spheres being the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and pedosphere. Research in physical geography is often interdisciplinary and uses the systems approach.
This is a list of extreme points of Earth, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than, higher or lower in altitude than, or farthest inland or out to sea from, any other locations on the landmasses, continents or countries.
1A 1995 realignment of the International Date Line () moved all of Kiribati to the Asian side of the Date Line, causing Caroline Island to be the easternmost. However, if the previous Date Line were followed, the easternmost point would be Tafahi Niuatoputapu, in the Tonga Islands chain.