The Coldest Climate
By Maia, Niall, Josh C and Leah
Construction of the Titanic began in Belfast in 1908. The Titanic set sail on it’s maiden voyage on April 10th 1912. The ship sailed smoothly for 4 days. However, on April 14th the Titanic hit an iceberg and it sank to the bottom of the ocean on April 15th 1912.Sadly, many of the ship’s passengers drowned or froze to death. In fact, 1,500 people died and many of these were 2nd and 3rd class passengers.
The Titanic was a luxury ship that was sank by an iceberg in 1912 on its maiden voyage to New York City. This is one of the most talked about subject in modern history and was rediscovering by Rob Ballard in 1985.There are several books, films and musicals based on this tragic event.
Orgins and Construction
In 1908, the construction began on the Titanic in Belfast. The ship was part of a fleet of three ships that all sank at one part in their life. The Titanic was designed and made by a company named White Star Line.
The ship origionally had 20 lifeboats but several were removed to make it look nice and to give the the first class passengers more room on the deck.
The Disaster Strikes
At 11:40 on April 14th 1912 the Titanic’s right side was struck. The Captain was hesitant to inform the guests about the damage even after many had asked what had happened. Soon, the crew were given instructions to load women and children only into the lifeboats. Many men were angered by this as they wouldn’t let any men aboard the lifeboats. Unfortunately, because of this rule, many lives were lost. Also, many guests decided to stay aboard the sinking ship as they thought it was unnecessary to board the lifeboats when they could stay aboard the ‘unsinkable’ ship. Another reason for the amount of lives lost was because the first few lifeboats were lowered into the water with less than half of it’s capacity. In fact, the first lifeboat was lowered into the water with only 28 of the 65 it could carry. Unfortunately, at 02:20 April 15th 1912, the legendary Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Over 1,500 lost their lives and only 705 people survived.
Who was to blame?
This tragic event caused lots of controversy over who was to blame for the great loss of life. Captain Smith was to blame for the collision as he had set the ship’s speed to 20 knots. However, people blamed Bruce Ismay as he was said to have pressured Captain Smith to go 20 knots. This was because he wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean in record time. The builders were also to blame as they had used screws which became loose in cold conditions. Also, the radio operators were blamed for ignoring 7 iceberg warnings from other ships in the surrounding area. However, Captain Smith was also blamed for sending the radio operators to bed at 11 o’clock.
The Antarctic is located in the Southern Hemisphere. This cold tundra is the 5th largest continent in the world. Almost all of the Antarctic’s land area is covered in a thick layer of ice. In fact, less than half a percent of the continent is ice free. This continent is divided into two parts. East Antarctica and West Antarctica. East Antarctica makes up two thirds of the continent. Did you know East Antarctica is about the size of Australia! The Antarctic’s temperature can range from -10oC to -60oC.
The Antarctic is not home to as many animals as the Arctic. Most of it’s animal population lives in it’s cold oceans. Some of these animals include Leopard seals, Adelie penguins, Antarctic Krill, Elephant seals and many more. All of these animals have adapted to live in this harsh environment. For example, Adelie penguins have adapted to have a black back which helps them absorb heat.
The Antarctic plant life is made up of lower plant life. Such as mosses, liverworts, lichens and fungi. These plants are specially adapted to surviving in very extreme environments in particular tolerating extremely low temperatures and dehydration. There are around 100 species of mosses, 25 species of liverworts, 300 - 400 species of lichens and 20 odd species of micro-fungi the greatest diversity of species is found along the western side of the Antarctic.
The Antarctic Timeline
1777: James Cook becomes the first person to navigate through the Arctic Circle.
1819-1821: Fabian Gottlieb Von Bellingshausen casts his eyes on the Antarctic continent.
1830-1840: Individual French, English and American expeditions confirm the status of Antarctica as a continent.
1898: In March, Adrien De Gerlache and his crew became trapped in packed ice.
1901-1904: Captain Robert Falcon Scott from the UK leads his first expedition to try to reach the South Pole.
1907-1909: Ernest Shackleton leads an expedition which becomes the closest to the Geographic South Pole to date.
1914-1917: Shackleton returns to Antarctica in an attempt to be the first to complete the Antarctic crossing. However, his ship is crushed by the sea ice.
1998: Madrid Protocol enters into force and prohibits mining in Antarctica.
When you are looking for land close to the Arctic you will have to travel 700km to get to the closest land from the Arctic. The level of the ground is 2m below sea level. If a physical marker was placed on the Arctic it would float away within the space of a few hours. The temperature here ranges from 13 degrees to minus 43 degrees. At the Arctic the sun is continually above the horizon from the March equinox to the September equinox reaching a high point of 23.5 at the summer solstice around June the 21st.From September to March it is continually below the horizon. The ice that you stand on is 1m to 3m, which is 3 to 10 feet thick, floats on the glacial water of the Arctic ocean. It is made of frozen sea water with a bit of snow on the top of it. The sea level is usually no more than 1m below your feet and the sea bed is 4,260 below that. Both the south and the North pole have 5 months of light ,1 month of twilight,5 months of darkness and then another month of twilight to finish it off.
Arctic AnimalsMany animals live in the Arctic although not a lot of them live in the Antarctic. For example, the Arctic is homed to polar bears, Arctic foxes, walruses, reindeer, snowy owls and many, many more delightful animals. All of these animals have adapted to life in this cold climate. For example, walruses have adapted to have a thick layer of fat (blubber) which helps them keep warm when swimming in the ice cold waters of the Arctic. Polar bears have adapted to have black skin. This helps them as the colour black absorbs heat.