A photo from open sources
At first glance, the question seems very simple. But take your time with the answer. From school geography, most of us remember about desert. The answer is immediately ready: the sultry African Sahara. Where yet, they say, it may be hotter than in this greatest “stove” our planet? But the answer is wrong! Many reference books refer to not about the Sahara as the driest place on Earth, but about the desert Atacama in Chile. For example, a whole Wikipedia article is dedicated to her. IN in this article, in particular, there are such words: “Atacama Desert considered the driest desert on Earth. “Unfortunately, not all of those who read this article drew attention to the fact that it is about deserts. But great land can be not only in them! However off and on, went for a walk on the Internet (and not only in it!) that account, that the most supposedly dry place on the planet is the Atacama Desert. But in fact the driest place in … Antarctica! Do not believe? Yes in such a paradox is not immediately believed. But fact is fact which is impossible to challenge. But first I want to challenge! Difficult understand how, while 99.7 percent are concentrated in Antarctica water of the planet, and … record dryness! And this implies complete lack of humidity at very high temperatures. However the highest summer temperature in Antarctica is just plus five degrees!
Icebergs, penguins, a huge territory under many kilometers ice, severe frosts, hurricane winds and suddenly … incredible dry particle of Antarctica! Fiction pales at such facts. But where is so amazing on the white continent a place?
These are the so-called Dry Oasis Valleys: Victoria, Reiter and Taylor west of the McMurdo Strait. In them because of extremely dry air and very strong winds generally do not have ice and snow. The open valleys were by Robert Scott in 1903. In these places for a very long time I could not detect any signs of life. And only in 1978, American biologists managed to find bacteria inside … stones.
The climate in these valleys is so severe that it is compared with Martian. By the way, it’s no coincidence that spacecraft and equipment, being designed for future inhabited stations of Mars, are experiencing in Antarctica.
In general, Antarctica is a miracle of miracles on our planet! What are they worth Pictures of Erebus volcano erupting in the ice! How many volcanoes on the coldest continent – scientists are still sure is unknown. Some of them have long gone out and are hidden under the ice. Some even under the huge thickness of ice make themselves felt.
Say, recently discovered by scientists under the ice on a kilometer the deepest volcano on earth is Mary Bird. That this is a volcano, evidenced by volcanic ash in ice. Also in 2010 and in In 2011, tremors were recorded here. Ice and red-hot lava are things seemingly incompatible. More surprisingly, volcanoes Antarctica quite “get along” with the ice. However, under the ice There are not only volcanoes, but also huge lakes.
But let’s go back to the Dry Valleys. Their area is about eight thousand square kilometers. The valleys are the largest in Antarctica is uncovered by snow and ice. No precipitation in the valleys have not been over a million years! How did these depressions form? About two million years ago, there were powerful glaciers in these places. They gradually slipped into the sea, and Antarctica itself during this time “sailed away” further – to a more severe part of the planet. Eventually changed climate, steel in lowlands “dug” by glaciers, the strongest blow winds and because of them precipitation does not fall on the surface of valleys.
Antarctica Time Volcanoes Climate Snow