Inch In A Pinch 
Inch In A Pinch

 

"Ho..He..Hello! In..In..Inch in a Pinch here! WOW!! It sure is c..c..c..cold here! This is Antartica, the coldest place on earth. It's been known to get to -129 degrees Fahrenheit here! The continent of Antarctica offers a habitat all its own. I'm going to let Penny in Peril take over while I look for something warm to wear - snow boots (my feet are freezing and I've got a lot of feet to freeze!!), a warm parka, and a ski mask. I sure hope you dressed for the weather. Penny in Peril is an Adelie penguin and she actually lives in the fr..fr..fr..freezing place! Anyway, here's Penny...

Penny In Peril 
Penny in Peril Dancing Penguin

 

"Hi! One of the things I've learned living here in Antarctica - if you move, you stay warm! So, if you don't mind I'm going to dance while we talk. Maybe you'd like to join me? Did you know that Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest and windiest continent on earth? Our first order of business is for you to learn about this frigid habitat. I'll be waiting when you're finished. Remember, keep moving and stay warm!"

Description
Antarctica Sunset
Antarctica Sunset 
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Map of AntarcticaAntarctica is a large land mass buried under a vast ice cap up to 6.5 miles (4 km) thick in places. Antarctica’s total area is approximately 7 million square miles in summer, but doubles in size in the winter due to the large amount of sea ice, which forms its periphery. In winter, the sea ice around Antarctica grows at the rate of 40,000 square miles a day! The weight of this ice cap is so heavy that much of the ground below is pressed down below sea-level! The polar ice cap around the South Pole advances about 33 feet annually!

Antarctica is the fifth largest of the earth’s seven continents. It surrounds the South Pole and is circular in shape with a long arm, the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching out toward South America.

 
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There is a complete lack of haze in Antarctica due to the cold, dry climate and dust-free air! Many explorers have discovered - at at very high personal price - distant objects seem close and mirages are common. Raging blizzards often occur when winds pick up previously deposited snow and move it from place to place.
 
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Antarctica has no native population. There are, however, about 4,000 people who live on and study the Antarctic continent during the summer months (December through March).
 
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The longest day of the year in Antarctica lasts almost three months! The sun just circles in the sky for approximately four months from early October until early February. The longest night is just the reverse. During austral winter, it will stay dark for over four months at a time!
 
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Antarctica receives about the same amount of precipitation as the Sahara Desert. Average temperatures never go above 32° Fahrenheit (the freezing point of water) thus snowfall virtually never melts!
 
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The strong winds of Antarctica combine with heavy coastal snowfall to produce a very dramatic landscape. Polar regions are important because their cold waters affect the climate of the whole earth. Antarctic Landscape
Antarctic Landscape
 
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Animated film projector
Computer Simulated Movie
This movie shows a pan from west to east. Starting in the west and moving
The only river of any size in Antarctica is the Onyx River, which flows inland twenty miles and replenishes Lake Vanda, one of the few lakes on Antarctica. Despite containing 70% of the world's freshwater, much of Antarctica is a desert!
 
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Antarctica consists of two main areas - East Antarctica lying in the eastern hemisphere and West Antarctica, lying in the western hemisphere. These two areas are separated by the Trans antarctic Mountains.
 
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Three climatic regions can be distinguished in Antarctica:
1. The interior regionhas extreme cold and light snowfall.
2. The coastal areas have somewhat milder temperatures and higher precipitation rates.
3. The Antarctic Peninsula is characterized by a warmer and wetter climate, where above-freezing temperatures are common.
 
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Antarctica is a land of incredible experiences found nowhere else on earth! Because of the uniqueness of this frozen habitat, it also needs special and unique words to describe it. Check out a sampling of this "Antarctic Dictionary".

Penny in Peril Penguin

 

"Pretty awesome place,huh? Inch asked me to show you the plants and animals that live here. There are only a few plants that can survive the extreme cold of Antartica. Animals have to have special adaptations for keeping warm. Not everything that lives here is as good a dancer as I am! Take a look at them and we'll continue the tour when you get back."

Link to Animal PageLink to Plant Page
Penny in Peril Penguin

 

"Isn't it incredible that these animals can survive here in Antarctica? My home, the Antarctic, is in danger of being lost forever! You can help out, but first you need to know why it's endangered. Below is a list of the things that are putting Antarctica in peril. They are also putting my life in peril because if Antarctica goes, so do I. Look them over and if you don't understand them please Email me and ask. I'll catch you on the other end."

 
Reasons for Loss of Habitat
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One of the most serious threats hanging over Antarctica is the prospect of the exploitation of its oil and minerals, if commercial deposits are found underground or beneath the sea. There would be risk of oil spills, pollution and an increase of human occupation of the few ice-free areas.
 
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The earth's protective atmospheric layer, called the Ozone, is gradually being depleted, resulting in a gradual melting of Antarctica's ice sheets. If ice sheets were to melt, the world's ocean would rise as much as 200 to 210 feet. The size of the hole, in the Ozone layer, has steadily increased and in 1987 the layer was half as thick as at the same time of year in 1970. Over the last half century, coastal ice on the Antarctic Peninsula has been gradually disappearing.
 
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Tourism in Antarctica is steadily increasing. If an influx of tourists were to occur, fragile vegetation would easily be destroyed. Nesting and breeding grounds would also be disrupted. Tourism would unwittingly spread bird and plant diseases and introduce new kinds of organisms to the Antarctic.
 
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Penguins have suffered greatly at the hands of humans. Great numbers have been slaughtered for their blubber and now also their skins.
 
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Several seal species are close to extinction due to trade in sealskins from as early a time as the 1820's. In the 1900's, fur seals had been almost wiped out by sealing. Many are now protected under the ESA (Endangered Species Act), but some seal populations are so depleted that recovery will be difficult at best.
 
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As a result of human hunting, Antarctic baleen whales reached their lowest population level by the late 1950's. These, too, struggle to regain some measure of safety from extinction.
 
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In 1989, the Antarctic supply ship, Bahaia Paraiso, sank in the Bismarck Strait and spilled diesel oil and gasoline into the sea. In polar conditions, oil breaks down 100 times more slowly than in temperate waters.
 
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Cores of ice taken from glaciers in the Antarctic show rising levels of carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution. With more people working in Antarctica, it is vulnerable to more direct forms of pollution, particularly from oil.
 
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DDT was also a chemical found in Antarctic waters. It was never used in Antarctica, but has spread there from the rest of the world.
 

Penny in Peril Penguin

 

"I have one last job to do before I go. All this dancing has made me hungry and I want to get something to eat! There are some things you can do to help prevent the Antarctic from disappearing. Please start doing these things right away because if Antarctica is lost, the entire climate of the earth could change. Every plant and animal on earth, as well as, in the Antarctic habitat is depending on you!"

 
What Needs To Be Done
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Drilling for oil and gas from Antarctica should be prohibited! In order to insure that this happens, "pro environment" candidates must be voted into office, replacing government officials who diligently work against wildlife and wildlife habitat.
 
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Do not use aerosols or plastic foams containing chlorofluoro carbons, (CFCs), such as the cooling agent, Freon, in refrigerators and air conditioners. The CFC's are causing an increase in the size of the hole in the ozone layer and a thinning of the ozone itself. These chemicals take at least 100 years to break down in the atmosphere. That is a long, long time!
 
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Tourism is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is managed in such a manner as to benefit the land and its wildlife inhabitants, it can be a good thing. Before booking a vacation to Antarctica or any other fragile habitat area, thoroughly investigate the company organizing the tour. Tour only with reputable organizations (some wildlife organizations offer guided tours of various wildlife areas).
 
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It seems that, just in the nick of time, more people on this planet are becoming aware of how destructive overuse and over hunting can be to the plant and animal species of this world. A big part of this awareness is coming about through education. Become an environmental educator. Learn all you can about Antarctica and teach others what you know!
 
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The more we drive our cars, the more petroleum products we will need. This means more drilling and more oil tankers transporting these petroleum products back and forth across the globe. The increase intrastate increases the risk of more oil spills in our oceans. Cut down on how much you drive! Carpool whenever possible. Bike to work or to the store. The best solution of all is to walk! By walking, you cut down the use of gasoline and its pollutants and also the need for rubber used in the manufacture of tires.
 
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Carbon dioxide is a pollutant generated by gasoline powered engines' exhaust. Read the previous suggestion to know what to do about car exhaust. Gasoline powered lawn mowers contribute to the production of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. If you have lawn to mow, consider using a push mower, instead of a gasoline powered lawn mower. Plant less lawn. Lawn does not make good wildlife habitat. Investigate enriching your yard.
 
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Although the use of DDT has been banned for a number of years in the United States, the production of DDT continues in the US. Write, email, and phone your state representatives and senators to let them know you will not support their next campaign if they do not support the discontinued production of this deadly chemical!
 

Penny in Peril Penguin

 

"Oh, Oh! I almost forgot. There's a picture of some Adelie penguins for you to color, if you'd like to. Boy, am I hungry! Fish, do you like fish? It's my absolute Alabama! Come back and visit again! Thanks for being interested enough to care what happens to the Antarctic habitat area."

Inch in a Pinch Caterpillar

 

"Thank you, Penny in Peril! Isn't she a real go getter? If I danced as much as she does, maybe I could lose those few extra pounds that have managed to find me. Better yet, why don't you and I get started doing some of the things Penny suggested? I'll bet we could stay healthier AND help the Antarctic habitat area."

To learn more about the Antarctic, visit the following:
Wildlife of the Region - The South Paris Expedition
Discovering Antarctica
Antarctica From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Or read the following books:
The Antarctic by Pat Hargreaves
The Polar Seas by Malcolm Penny
Greenpeace Book of Antarctica by John May
 

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