What Is the Size of Antarctica in the Winter?


Quick Answer

The size of Antarctica in the winter, which is double its size during the summer, is approximately 11 million square miles. Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in the world.

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Full Answer

Antarctica lies in the Antarctic Circle that surrounds the South Pole in Earth's Southern Hemisphere. The continent is sub-divided into two main geographical regions: East Antarctica and West Antarctica.

Antarctica's size varies through the two major seasons it experiences. Throughout the year, the continent is blanketed by thick ice sheets, encompassing a total surface area of an estimated 5.5 million square miles in the summer. During the winter, part of the coastal waters refreeze, which accounts for the doubling in size of the continent. Average winter temperatures in Antarctica range between -40 degrees Fahrenheit and -94 degrees F.

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