Sangeetha Pulapaka

Ice and snow cover 98 percent of the continent. Winter extends from May through August. Summer extends from December through February. Temperatures during January and February range from -15°C (5°F) to -35°C (-31°F) inland and reach up to 0°C (32°F) along the coast. Antarctica’s inland plateau has been called a polar desert. Very little moisture is in the air there, so dehydration can be a major concern for people working on the ice.

Antartica has just two flowering plants - Deschampsia Antartica (a grass)


Colobenthos subulatus (a Pearlwort)




Seeds of plants such as Poa annua—an annual bluegrass (right) that is already established on the Antarctic Peninsula—are hitchhiking to even higher latitude areas of the continent on the clothing and supplies of tourists and scientists.

Some other examples of invasive species are Arctic species such as chickweed and yellow bog sedge have been found in Antarctica, according to the study, published March 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Climate change is projected to render the frigid continent more hospitable to such plants in coming decades” says the lead of this study and author, Steven Chown, an environmental scientist.

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