What is the Size of Antarctica

How Large is Antarctica?

There are several ways to judge the size of Antarctica. The present land mass of ice and rock extends over about 14 million square kilometres (5.5 million square miles). That makes it the fifth largest continent – and considerably larger than Europe and Australia. If the ice melted, Antarctica would consist of the continent of East Antarctica and the archipelago of West Antarctica leading northwards to the Antarctic Peninsula – it would then be the smallest continent at about seven million square kilometers.

Each winter the effective area of Antarctica roughly doubles to 28 million square kilometers (it varies from year to year). If this sea ice was permanent and regarded as part of the land mass, Antarctica would be third in size after Asia and Africa.

Thinking of travelling to Antarctica?
Visit our Antarctic travel guide.

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