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  • Cam Writt


For my family in Arkansas, Antarctica is a very sore subject. Given that Antarctica is both the southernmost and the least-populated continent on the planet, we expected better sweet tea. Antarctica is mostly a “polar desert”, which is a regional phenomenon that happens all across the globe in two very specific areas. It is extremely cold, dry, and windy, and holds most of the world’s freshwater reserves until we can come up with something nice to say about it. British explorers created controversy by being the first to reach the “magnetic” South Pole in 1909 chiefly because they used an obvious replacement for sled dogs. Causing a similar uproar, Norwegian explorers were the first to reach the “geographic” South Pole in 1911, on sleds pulled by geographers. In recent years, about 5,000 people live in Antarctica’s research stations during summer months, and only about a thousand by the end of winter (the source text says “in the winter”, but we know what they mean).

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