A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the world is semi-arid; this includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location. Deserts are formed by weathering processes as large variations in temperature between day and night put strains on the rocks which break in pieces. Although rain occurs in deserts, there are occasional downpours that can result in flash floods. Rain falling on hot rocks can cause them to shatter and the resulting fragments and rubble strewn over the desert floor are further eroded by the wind; this wafts them aloft in sand or dust storms.
Wind-blown sand grains striking any solid object in their path can abrade the surface. Rocks are smoothed down, the wind sorts sand into uniform deposits; the grains are piled high in billowing sand dunes. Other deserts are flat, stony plains where all the fine material has been blown away and the surface consists of a mosaic of smooth stones; these areas are known as desert pavements and little further erosion takes place. Other desert features include rock outcrops, exposed bedrock and clays once deposited by flowing water. Temporary lakes may form and salt pans may be left when waters evaporate. There may be underground sources of water in the form of seepages from aquifers. Where these are found, oases can occur. Plants and animals living in the desert need special adaptations to survive in the harsh environment. Plants tend to be tough and wiry with small or no leaves, water-resistant cuticles and spines to deter herbivory; some annual plants germinate and die in the course of a few weeks after rainfall while other long-lived plants survive for years and have deep root systems able to tap underground moisture.
Animals need to find enough food and water to survive. Many stay in the shade or underground during the heat of the day, they tend to be efficient at conserving water, extracting most of their needs from their food and concentrating their urine. Some animals remain in a state of dormancy for long periods, ready to become active again during the rare rainfall, they reproduce while conditions are favorable before returning to dormancy. People have struggled to live in the surrounding semi-arid lands for millennia. Nomads have moved their flocks and herds to wherever grazing is available and oases have provided opportunities for a more settled way of life; the cultivation of semi-arid regions encourages erosion of soil and is one of the causes of increased desertification. Desert farming is possible with the aid of irrigation, the Imperial Valley in California provides an example of how barren land can be made productive by the import of water from an outside source. Many trade routes have been forged across deserts across the Sahara Desert, traditionally were used by caravans of camels carrying salt, gold and other goods.
Large numbers of slaves were taken northwards across the Sahara. Some mineral extraction takes place in deserts, the uninterrupted sunlight gives potential for the capture of large quantities of solar energy. English desert and its Romance cognates all come from the ecclesiastical Latin dēsertum, a participle of dēserere, "to abandon"; the correlation between aridity and sparse population is complex and dynamic, varying by culture and technologies. In English before the 20th century, desert was used in the sense of "unpopulated area", without specific reference to aridity. Phrases such as "desert island" and "Great American Desert", or Shakespeare's "deserts of Bohemia" in previous centuries did not imply sand or aridity. A desert is a region of land, dry because it receives low amounts of precipitation has little coverage by plants, in which streams dry up unless they are supplied by water from outside the area. Deserts receive less than 250 mm of precipitation each year; the potential evapotranspiration may be large but the actual evapotranspiration may be close to zero.
Semideserts are regions which receive between 250 and 500 mm and when clad in grass, these are known as steppes. Deserts have been defined and classified in a number of ways combining total precipitation, number of days on which this falls and humidity, sometimes additional factors. For example, Arizona, receives less than 250 mm of precipitation per year, is recognized as being located in a desert because of its aridity-adapted plants; the North Slope of Alaska's Brooks Range receives less than 250 mm of precipitation per year and is classified as a cold desert. Other regions of the world have cold deserts, including areas of the Himalayas and other high-altitude areas in other parts of the world. Polar deserts cover much of the ice-free
Cyanobacteria known as Cyanophyta, are a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis and are the only photosynthetic prokaryotes able to produce oxygen. The name cyanobacteria comes from the color of the bacteria. Cyanobacteria, which are prokaryotes, are called "blue-green algae", though the term algae in modern usage is restricted to eukaryotes. Unlike heterotrophic prokaryotes, cyanobacteria have internal membranes; these are flattened. Phototrophic eukaryotes perform photosynthesis by plastids that may have their ancestry in cyanobacteria, acquired long ago via a process called endosymbiosis; these endosymbiotic cyanobacteria in eukaryotes may have evolved or differentiated into specialized organelles such as chloroplasts and leucoplasts. By producing and releasing oxygen, cyanobacteria are thought to have converted the early oxygen-poor, reducing atmosphere into an oxidizing one, causing the Great Oxygenation Event and the "rusting of the Earth", which changed the composition of the Earth's life forms and led to the near-extinction of anaerobic organisms.
Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic bacteria, some of which are nitrogen-fixing, that live in a wide variety of moist soils and water either or in a symbiotic relationship with plants or lichen-forming fungi. They include colonial species. Colonies may form filaments, sheets, or hollow spheres; some filamentous species can differentiate into several different cell types: vegetative cells – the normal, photosynthetic cells that are formed under favorable growing conditions. Some cyanobacteria can fix atmospheric nitrogen in anaerobic conditions by means of specialized cells called heterocysts. Heterocysts may form under the appropriate environmental conditions when fixed nitrogen is scarce. Heterocyst-forming species are specialized for nitrogen fixation and are able to fix nitrogen gas into ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, which can be absorbed by plants and converted to protein and nucleic acids. Free-living cyanobacteria are present in the water of rice paddies, cyanobacteria can be found growing as epiphytes on the surfaces of the green alga, where they may fix nitrogen.
Cyanobacteria such as Anabaena can provide rice plantations with biofertilizer. Many cyanobacteria form motile filaments of cells, called hormogonia, that travel away from the main biomass to bud and form new colonies elsewhere; the cells in a hormogonium are thinner than in the vegetative state, the cells on either end of the motile chain may be tapered. To break away from the parent colony, a hormogonium must tear apart a weaker cell in a filament, called a necridium; each individual cell has a thick, gelatinous cell wall. They lack flagella. Many of the multicellular filamentous. In water columns, some cyanobacteria float by forming gas vesicles, as in archaea; these vesicles are not organelles as such. They are not bounded by a protein sheath. Cyanobacteria can be found in every terrestrial and aquatic habitat—oceans, fresh water, damp soil, temporarily moistened rocks in deserts, bare rock and soil, Antarctic rocks, they can form phototrophic biofilms. They are found in endolithic ecosystem. A few are endosymbionts in lichens, various protists, or sponges and provide energy for the host.
Some live in the fur of sloths. Aquatic cyanobacteria are known for their extensive and visible blooms that can form in both freshwater and marine environments; the blooms can have the appearance of blue-green scum. These blooms can be toxic, lead to the closure of recreational waters when spotted. Marine bacteriophages are significant parasites of unicellular marine cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria growth is favored in ponds and lakes where waters are calm and have less turbulent mixing, their life cycles are disrupted when the water or artificially mixes from churning currents caused by the flowing water of streams or the churning water of fountains. For this reason blooms of cyanobacteria occur in rivers unless the water is flowing slowly. Growth is favored at higher temperatures, making increasing water temperature as a result of global warming more problematic. At higher temperatures Microcystis species are able to outcompete green algae; this is a concern because of the production of toxins produced by Microcystis.
Based on environmental trends and observations suggest cyanobacteria will increase their dominance in aquatic environments. This can lead to serious consequences the contamination of sources of drinking water. Cyanobacteria can interfere with water treatment in various ways by plugging filters and by producing cyanotoxins, which have the potential to cause serious illness if consumed. Consequences may lie within
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Evapotranspiration is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth's land and ocean surface to the atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, waterbodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent loss of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves. Evapotranspiration is an important part of the water cycle. An element that contributes to evapotranspiration can be called an evapotranspirator. Potential evapotranspiration is a representation of the environmental demand for evapotranspiration and represents the evapotranspiration rate of a short green crop shading the ground, of uniform height and with adequate water status in the soil profile, it is a reflection of the energy available to evaporate water, of the wind available to transport the water vapour from the ground up into the lower atmosphere. A value for the potential evapotranspiration is calculated at a nearby climatic station on a reference surface, conventionally short grass.
This value is called the reference evapotranspiration. Actual evapotranspiration is said to equal potential evapotranspiration; some US states utilize a full cover alfalfa reference crop, 0.5 m in height, rather than the short green grass reference, due to the higher value of ET from the alfalfa reference. Evapotranspiration is a significant water loss from drainage basins. Types of vegetation and land use affect evapotranspiration, therefore the amount of water leaving a drainage basin; because water transpired through leaves comes from the roots, plants with deep reaching roots can more transpire water. Herbaceous plants transpire less than woody plants because they have less extensive foliage. Conifer forests tend to have higher rates of evapotranspiration than deciduous forests in the dormant and early spring seasons; this is due to the enhanced amount of precipitation intercepted and evaporated by conifer foliage during these periods. Factors that affect evapotranspiration include the plant's growth stage or level of maturity, percentage of soil cover, solar radiation, humidity and wind.
Isotope measurements indicate. Through evapotranspiration, forests reduce water yield, except in unique ecosystems called cloud forests. Trees in cloud forests collect the liquid water in fog or low clouds onto their surface, which drips down to the ground; these trees still contribute to evapotranspiration, but collect more water than they evaporate or transpire. In areas that are not irrigated, actual evapotranspiration is no greater than precipitation, with some buffer in time depending on the soil's ability to hold water, it will be less because some water will be lost due to percolation or surface runoff. An exception is areas with high water tables, where capillary action can cause water from the groundwater to rise through the soil matrix to the surface. If potential evapotranspiration is greater than the actual precipitation soil will dry out, unless irrigation is used. Evapotranspiration can never be greater than PET, but can be lower if there is not enough water to be evaporated or plants are unable to transpire readily.
Evapotranspiration can be estimated using several methods. Pan evaporation data can be used to estimate lake evaporation, but transpiration and evaporation of intercepted rain on vegetation are unknown. There are three general approaches to estimate evapotranspiration indirectly. Evapotranspiration may be estimated by creating an equation of the water balance of a drainage basin; the equation balances the change in water stored within the basin with inputs and outgoes: Δ S = P − E T − Q − D The input is precipitation and the outgoes are evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge. If the change in storage, precipitation and groundwater recharge are all estimated, the missing flux, ET, can be estimated by rearranging the above equation as follows: E T = P − Δ S − Q − D A third methodology to estimate the actual evapotranspiration is the use of the energy balance. Λ E = R n − G − H where λE is the energy needed to change the phase of water from liquid to gas, Rn is the net radiation, G is the soil heat flux and H is the sensible heat flux.
Using instruments like a scintillometer, soil heat flux plates or radiation meters, the components of the energy balance can be calculated and the energy available for actual evapotranspiration can be solved. The SEBAL and METRIC algorithms solve the energy balance at the earth's surface using satellite imagery; this allows for both actual and potential evapotranspiration to be calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Evapotranspiration is a key indicator for irrigation performance. SEBAL and METRIC can map these key indicators in time and space, for weeks or years. One method for measuring evapotranspiration is with a weighing lysimeter; the weight of a soil column is measured continuously and the change in storage of water in the soil is modeled by the change in weight. The change in weight is converted to units of length using the surface area of the weighing lysimeter and the unit weight of water. Evapotranspiration
International Standard Book Number
The International Standard Book Number is a numeric commercial book identifier, intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency. An ISBN is assigned to each variation of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN; the ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, 10 digits long if assigned before 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country; the initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108. Published books sometimes appear without an ISBN; the International ISBN agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.
Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number, identifies periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers. The International Standard Music Number covers musical scores; the Standard Book Numbering code is a 9-digit commercial book identifier system created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, for the booksellers and stationers WHSmith and others in 1965. The ISBN identification format was conceived in 1967 in the United Kingdom by David Whitaker and in 1968 in the United States by Emery Koltay; the 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108. The United Kingdom continued to use the 9-digit SBN code until 1974. ISO has appointed the International ISBN Agency as the registration authority for ISBN worldwide and the ISBN Standard is developed under the control of ISO Technical Committee 46/Subcommittee 9 TC 46/SC 9; the ISO on-line facility only refers back to 1978.
An SBN may be converted to an ISBN by prefixing the digit "0". For example, the second edition of Mr. J. G. Reeder Returns, published by Hodder in 1965, has "SBN 340 01381 8" – 340 indicating the publisher, 01381 their serial number, 8 being the check digit; this can be converted to ISBN 0-340-01381-8. Since 1 January 2007, ISBNs have contained 13 digits, a format, compatible with "Bookland" European Article Number EAN-13s. An ISBN is assigned to each variation of a book. For example, an ebook, a paperback, a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN; the ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, 10 digits long if assigned before 2007. An International Standard Book Number consists of 4 parts or 5 parts: for a 13-digit ISBN, a prefix element – a GS1 prefix: so far 978 or 979 have been made available by GS1, the registration group element, the registrant element, the publication element, a checksum character or check digit. A 13-digit ISBN can be separated into its parts, when this is done it is customary to separate the parts with hyphens or spaces.
Separating the parts of a 10-digit ISBN is done with either hyphens or spaces. Figuring out how to separate a given ISBN is complicated, because most of the parts do not use a fixed number of digits. ISBN is most used among others special identifiers to describe references in Wikipedia and can help to find the same sources with different description in various language versions. ISBN issuance is country-specific, in that ISBNs are issued by the ISBN registration agency, responsible for that country or territory regardless of the publication language; the ranges of ISBNs assigned to any particular country are based on the publishing profile of the country concerned, so the ranges will vary depending on the number of books and the number and size of publishers that are active. Some ISBN registration agencies are based in national libraries or within ministries of culture and thus may receive direct funding from government to support their services. In other cases, the ISBN registration service is provided by organisations such as bibliographic data providers that are not government funded.
A full directory of ISBN agencies is available on the International ISBN Agency website. Partial listing: Australia: the commercial library services agency Thorpe-Bowker.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but dense and large settlements, as well as vast populated regions, its 4.5 billion people constitute 60% of the world's population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean; the border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity.
The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa. China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and colonialism; the accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, environments, historical ties and government systems, it has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia. The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal; this makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa. The border between Asia and Europe was defined by European academics; the Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.
The major geographical theorist of the empire was a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book. In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced; the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century; the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north; the border between Asia and the region of Oceania is placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.
The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception; the chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between
The Antarctic is a polar region around the Earth's South Pole, opposite the Arctic region around the North Pole. The Antarctic comprises the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau and other island territories located on the Antarctic Plate or south of the Antarctic Convergence; the Antarctic region includes the ice shelves and all the island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence, a zone 32 to 48 km wide varying in latitude seasonally. The region covers some 20 percent of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5 percent is the surface area of the Antarctic continent itself. All of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude are administered under the Antarctic Treaty System. Biogeographically, the Antarctic ecozone is one of eight ecozones of the Earth's land surface; the maritime part of the region constitutes the area of application of the international Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 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 and international inspectors on the fishing vessels, as well as satellite surveillance. Most of the Antarctic region is situated south of 60°S latitude parallel, is governed in accordance with the international legal regime of the Antarctic Treaty System; the Treaty area covers the continent itself and its adjacent islands, as well as the archipelagos of the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, Peter I Island, Scott Island and Balleny Islands. The islands situated between 60°S latitude parallel to the south and the Antarctic Convergence to the north, their respective 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones fall under the national jurisdiction of the countries that possess them: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Bouvet Island, Heard and McDonald Islands. Kerguelen Islands are situated in the Antarctic Convergence area, while the Falkland Islands, Isla de los Estados, Hornos Island with Cape Horn, Diego Ramírez Islands, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island and Saint Paul Islands, Crozet Islands, Prince Edward Islands, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha group remain north of the Convergence and thus outside the Antarctic region.
A variety of animals live in Antarctica for at least some of the year, including: Seals Penguins South Georgia pipits Albatrosses Antarctic petrels Whales Fish, such as Antarctic icefish, Antarctic toothfish Squid, including the colossal squid Antarctic krillMost of the Antarctic continent is permanently covered by ice and snow, leaving less than 1 percent of the land exposed. There are only two species of flowering plant, Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort, but a range of mosses, liverworts and macrofungi; the first Antarctic land discovered was the island of South Georgia, visited by the English merchant Anthony de la Roché in 1675. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent of Antarctica is accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny; the first human born in the Antarctic was Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen born on 8 October 1913 in Grytviken, South Georgia.
The Antarctic region had no indigenous population when first discovered, its present inhabitants comprise a few thousand transient scientific and other personnel working on tours of duty at the several dozen research stations maintained by various countries. However, the region is visited by more than 40,000 tourists annually, the most popular destinations being the Antarctic Peninsula area and South Georgia Island. In December 2009, the growth of tourism, with consequences for both the ecology and the safety of the travellers in its great and remote wilderness, was noted at a conference in New Zealand by experts from signatories to the Antarctic Treaty; the definitive results of the conference was presented at the Antarctic Treaty states' meeting in Uruguay in May 2010. The Antarctic hosts the world's largest protected area comprising 1.07 million km2, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protection Area created in 2012. The latter exceeds the surface area of another vast protected territory, the Greenland National Park’s 972,000 km2.
Because Antarctica surrounds the South Pole, it is theoretically located in all time zones. For practical purposes, time zones are based on territorial claims or the time zone of a station's owner country or supply base. Antarctic Circle History of Antarctica Krupnik, Michael A. Lang, Scott E. Miller, eds. Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Year Science. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2009. British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 Committee for Environmental Protection of Antarctica Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty CCAMLR Commission Antarctic Heritage Trusts International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators Map of the Antarctic Convergence The South Atlantic and Subantarctic Islands