New marine reserve for Antarctica

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A new marine reserve has been set up in Antarctica.

Last week officials from 24 countries and the European Union have agreed that the Ross Sea, in Antarctica, will become the world’s largest marine protected area.

At a meeting in Australia, it was agreed that around 1.5 million sq km of a part of the Southern Ocean would be protected from fishing.

The Ross Sea actually only makes up about 2% of this ocean, but is home to a huge amount of wildlife.

Antarctica is home to about two in every five of the world’s Adelie penguins.

It is also a rich source of krill, which is food for seals and whales, so it’s very important that it is looked after.

1. It is a continent – Antarctica isn’t a country – it’s a whole continent!
2. Antarctica sits at the Earth’s south pole and is almost completely covered by an massive ice sheet that is thousands of metres thick.
3. Antarctica is situated at the Earth’s south pole
4. Antarctica is bigger than Europe
5. Antarctica is almost 14 million sq km, which makes it the fifth-largest continent behind Asia, North America, South America and Africa. It is twice the size of Australia!
6. The temperature on Antarctica has been known to go as low as around −90°C.
7. Antarctica is a desert. Because it is so cold, the air cannot hold as much moisture so it does not rain very much at all there.


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