Antarctica Fact File

View a map and learn about the features of this frigid continent

Jan 06, 2014 | By TFK Staff
ILLUSTRATED BY JOE LEMONNIER FOR TIME FOR KIDS

McMurdo Station (see map box) is the American research base in Antarctica.

Location: the continent lies mostly south of the Antarctic Circle

Climate: severe cold; temperatures vary according to altitude and location

Size: 5.4 million square miles (14 million square kilometers); of that only about 108,108 sq miles are ice-free; Antarctica is about 1.5 times the size of the United States

Population: 1,100 to 4,400 researchers and support staff

Government: The continent is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, which includes the 1961 Antarctic Treaty. It suspended all territorial claims and dedicated Antarctica to science. There are 48 treaty member nations.