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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Antarctica

Silja Vöneky, Sange Addison-Agyei

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 October 2020

Subject(s):
Territory, title — Sovereignty

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Antarctica was only discovered in 1773 by Captain Cook, who first crossed the southern polar circle searching for the terra australis. It constitutes about 9% of the Earth’s landmass and almost 14 million square kilometres of its surface. Approximately 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which has a thickness of up to almost 4,800 metres; its average thickness is 2,300 metres. The mean temperature lies between 0° (summer, coast) and -68° (winter, plateau) Centigrade—depending on the season and location.2 Antarctica does not have an indigenous population....
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