The most southern point of Earth is home to the South Pole. The summer season is half a year, but it is always cold. The average summer temperature is negative eighteen degrees Fahrenheit and the winter's average temperatures as cold as negative seventy-six degrees Fahrenheit. This region of Earth had very little human interaction until the early twentieth century when explorers began to venture into the region. The climate does not support an animal life. Below you will find worksheets that look at the challenges the Explorers that made their way to South Pole had to undergo. We also focus on how climate change is rapidly changing the existing condition for animal and plant species.
The South Pole is on the continent of Antarctica, and it is the most southern point on Earth.
Due to the tilt of the Earth's axis as the Earth rotates and revolves around the sun, there is only one sunrise and one sunset at the South Pole every year.
Though Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, it has an official population of 0 because it has no permanent residents.
Roald Amundsen was the first explorer to visit both the North and the South Poles. He was born in Norway, and he had three brothers.
Amundsen and his crew arrived at Antarctica on January 14, 1911 and camped there for ten months preparing for the trip.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, human beings have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and gas.
The Pine Island Glacier has retreated (melted) by about 164,000 feet in the past 70 years due to ice melting.
Explorers from Europe and America first tried to reach the South Pole in 1904.
Amundsen's team set out for the South Pole on October 20th with five men and 52 dogs pulling four sleds. Scott's team set off on November 1st with dog sleds, ponies, and motorized vehicles.
There has been a permanent research station called the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station located at the South Pole since 1956.
McMurdo Station is built on the volcanic rock on Ross Island, which is the solid ground farthest south that can be accessed by ship.
The station is completely self-sufficient in winter, since the 24-hour darkness and rough climate make it impossible to receive supplies.
The location of the South Pole is always moving. This is because huge slabs of the Earth's crust are constantly shifting.
Robert Falcon Scott was a officer in the British navy and an Antarctic explorer. His first trip into the Antarctic was on the ship HMS Discovery.
In June of 1910, Scott set sail for Antarctica again on a ship called the Terra Nova.
Instead, most of the animal life around the South Pole is dependent on the ocean.
Penguins in Antarctica spend the majority of their time in the water, where they eat krill and small fish.
Though it is covered with a thick sheet of ice and show, it is not difficult to walk on.
Because it is located at the absolute bottom of the Earth, this location offers a unique perspective on the sun.
What Is the South Pole?
The legendary Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen discovered the South Pole on December 15, 1911 after he and British explorer Robert Falcon Scott wanted to race in an attempt to reach it first. Both led a team, but Amundsen was the victor, and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was built in honor of both explorers. However, what exactly is the South Pole anyway?
The South Pole is situated in Antarctica and has no official political boundaries. It has an altitude of 9,300 feet (2,834.64 m) and is the southernmost point on Earth, opposite the North Pole. It has some of the harshest and most extreme weather because it is near the coldest area on Earth.
The lowest temperature recorded in the South Pole was -117.0 °F (-82.8 °C) on June 23, 1982, and the highest was +9.9 °F (-12.3 °C) on December 25, 2011. Because of plate tectonics, it’s a fascinating place that continuously moves at a rate of 33 feet (10.05 m) yearly. Keep reading to learn more about the South Pole!
The South Pole's temperature is lower than the North Pole's because its land elevation and humidity are much higher. Due to its climate, the region's surface is just a vast expanse of endless snow and ice; no body of water, solid ground, or features like mountains and hills. (There may be beneath the ice, but it is unreachable).
Snow accumulates in this region, but the weather conditions also affect snowfall, causing ice crystals to fall from the sky.
Many scientists consider this area an excellent place to study astronomy and astrophysics. Because most ice sheets are undisturbed and contain valuable data records, studying the land and space here can help scientists better understand climate change and global warming.
Flora and Fauna
The South Pole is not habitable, and the freezing wind can frost any organism that does not have a protective coat. Furthermore, there is no documentation of any native plants or animals known throughout the years. However, sightings of seabirds, like south polar skuas and snow petrels, can be possible but have most likely been blown off-course.
The Nights Are Long
Every year, there is only one sunrise in September and one sunset in March, both during the equinoxes. Sunrise begins after the six long months of winter.
Due to the long nights, people of the community secure sufficient storage of all supplies for everyone, including medical supplies, food, water, and other necessities.
To check the local time, people use longitude. For example, when the sun is directly high up in the sky, it is noon time. However, since the sun is rarely seen (twice a year), time can not be calculated accurately.
Travel and Transportation
It is much easier to take a trip to the South Pole than the North Pole since there is a land mass to drop off, while the latter is in the Arctic Ocean. The people, as well as the supplies, are usually flown by plane or carried by ships. However, delayed flights can often happen as the weather is unpredictable and can become more extreme than usual.
The South Pole is not an advisable place to live permanently. The scientists are the only residents with a record of longer settlements because they are willing to endure the extreme weather to further their studies. They sacrifice to preserve the area to help the Earth find options to resolve the environmental issues.