Seasons- Antartica


When thinking about seasons, I think about those four stages throughout the year where the weather changes. Although it suddenly dawned on my that not all countries have four seasons. I did a lot of research and Antartica is somewhere that has always fascinated me, therefore I decided the continents seasons. In Winter, Antartica almost doubles in size, from 5.4 million square miles to over 8 million, as water freezes around the edges of the continent. In Summer, the ice melts and the continent shrinks to its former size.

Because of the earth’s tilt and orbit around the sun, Antartica receive less energy and heat from the sun. This results in only two polar two seasons, Summer and Winter. During Summer at the poles, the sun does not set, and in Winter the sun does not rise. The days will be very long during the Summer, with the sun below the horizon for only a few hours a day, and the sky will not become completely dark at night.

These dramatic seasonal variations control the ecosystem, and, as a result, Southern Ocean sea life faces challenging conditions. Ice forms in Winter over much of the sea around Antarctica, and rapidly retreats in the Spring when the ice melts. Summer is a season of long days and slightly warmer temperatures when phytoplankton grow rapidly and produce food for the entire ecosystem. High winds blowing from the continent mix the seawater, bringing high levels of nutrients necessary for phytoplankton growth near the sea surface, where there is sunlight.


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