Read each of the following passages and answer the items that follow. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.
Antarctica is a large continent equal in size to Europe and Australia put together. What is remarkable about this continent is that until recently it has been completely isolated from all other continents. In spite of its size, Antarctica had its first temporary year-round inhabitants in the latter of this present century.
Although the technological progress since World War-II has now made safe access to the continent possible, it is still not fully explored. But despite the severe cold, it is being studied, and more and more information is becoming available.
Explorers and scientists go to this continent to study its geology and mineral resources, and to establish weather stations. Some go for only a year or two. However, if the ship, which is their only means of transport back to the other continents, cannot reach their base, they have to settle down to their work again and hope that the ship will be able to reach them the year after.
Ninety-nine per cent of this vast continent is covered with snow or ice, which varies in depth from two feet to two miles. It is calculated that in all, there is an area of 5,000,000 square miles covered with ice. The elevation of the continent is between six and nine thousand feet above sea-level, with mountain peaks, which rise even higher, and its perpetual snow cover intensifies its cold polar climate.
All around Antarctica the sea freezes during winter. No ship can reach the coast, except in summer when the ice breaks up and moves with the winds and currents as ice fields. In the northern parts near the coast, the temperature rises above freezing point, but in the southern parts—that is south of the altitude 75° S—ever during summer fall further inland as one climbs to higher levels. A Russian research group settled deep inland recorded a temperature of –125°F.
It is also the first free region of the world. By an international treaty, Antarctica has been dedicated to peaceful purposes only, and this has promoted international co-operation in scientific research. This may prove the first step in internationalizing the world in future, and if it does, it would be far more significant in discovering the material and industrial potential of Antarctica.
Antarctica is equal in size to