Marks 45 years of the International Treaty on Antarctica
Antarctica — a unique area of the Earth, in which people are not shooting at each other and go for a visit to foreigners without a Schengen visa or any other. June 21, the day of the winter solstice is in polar holidays — mid-winter, the International Day of Antarctica.
Operation "White Continent" could lead to disaster.
In Soviet historical literature assumed that the Antarctic continent for the first time saw the participants in the First Russian Antarctic Expedition led by Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev January 17, 1821. It is seen as the land on the coast, representing a snow-covered mountains and snow-free rock, the expedition members were unable to because of the solid ice near the shore. Comparing the records of the expedition with the present data, we can conclude that the sailors before in several places came to the continent, but saw only the "icebergs". Now it was undeniable land called Earth Bellingshausen Alexander I. It is still not clear whether it is an island or a peninsula near the continent of Antarctica — all covered with ice.
See the ground — is that enough to become its discoverer? Can we assume that the opening adjacent to the island continent is the opening of the continent? The answers to these questions can establish the nationality of charge. Of course, the "yes" said the Russian and Soviet tradition. The British answer "yes and no" and believe that Antarctica was opened Bransfild Edward and William Smith. The latter really landed in 1819 in the South Shetland Islands, lying close to Antarctica — but still not on the continent. Bransfild skirted the islands and January 30, 1820 saw the peninsula, undoubtedly belonging to the continent. But also just saw.
Americans believe that Antarctica has opened Nathaniel Palmer, though he never landed, and November 16, 1820 saw the seemingly the same peninsula. Or an island, according to the British. Apparently, to resolve this dispute can not be. Especially as there is a point of view for the Argentines, Chileans and French. The first flag of his power set, apparently, that the French Dumont d'Urville — but also on the island, rather than on the continent.
Only in the last years of XIX century man managed to land in Antarctica. It happened January 24, 1895. First entered the land of the sixth part of the world Norwegian captain of the fishing vessel "Antarctic" Christensen and the passenger of the vessel, also Norwegian, science teacher Karlsteen Borchgrevink. It is, in fact, persuaded the captain a boat into the water and hit the beach. Moreover, he collected samples of minerals there, saw and described the Antarctic lichen, and noticed a jellyfish in the water.
Amazingly, only 109 years ago, the world existed a huge continent, which, as they say, no man has gone before. In a world alive a few hundred men and women who were born before the discovery of the continent that is larger than the size of Australia and Europe!
Now this continent and the surrounding islands — the only territory in the world that does not belong to any of the existing states. Although the territorial claims of some of them are huge. For example, Norway claims to the territory, exceeding its own ten times. Including the island of Peter I, outdoor expedition Bellingshausen-Lazarev. Vast areas announced his UK. Australia is committed almost half of Antarctica, which, however, cut the "French" Terre Adélie. Hurried after their piece of the "pie", and New Zealand. And Chile with Argentina anecdotally claimed almost one and the same territory — on the Antarctic Peninsula, which they even called differently. Most of these countries have issued postage stamps with the image maps of Antarctica and the boundaries of "their" territory.
Fortunately, the territorial claims on philately not spread. In autumn 1959, the Washington conference opened on Antarctica (Antarctic continent to the surrounding areas), which is December 1, 1959 resulted in the signing of an unprecedented in the history of the Earth to the Antarctic Treaty. This agreement, originally signed by Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South African Union, the USSR, Britain and the United States, announced the Antarctic zone of peace, which prohibits the establishment of military bases and the conduct of military maneuvers, the test nuclear weapons and radioactive materials. Antarctic Treaty declares, in effect, an international scientific laboratory in which the contracting parties shall inform each other of all expeditions to the area and all the research stations to be placed in the Antarctic. Provides for the inspection of all objects at any time.
However, the agreement does not mean that the acceding states gave up its territorial claims on the continent and the adjacent area (a zone of agreement is considered to be the area south of 60 degrees south latitude). Also worth noting is that the prohibition of military activity in Antarctica is somewhat hypocritical, since it is the interests of the military departments, primarily the United States and the Soviet Union, and led these countries to the ice continent. Therefore, the agreement specifically stated that it "does not prevent the use of military personnel or equipment for scientific research." Not surprisingly, the selection of personnel for the Soviet station main argument was not a diploma physics department, and "brown" very different institutions.
This year marks the Antarctic Treaty 45 years. Now members are the 27 states (with the right to vote), and dozens of observers. Still 7 out of the 27 do not give up "their" sector — a round cut Antarctica as a pizza. Special position occupied the U.S. and Russia, who declared that, in principle, can push its territorial claims in Antarctica, but so far this and do not do.
Currently, the year-round Antarctic stations live and work from 1000 (in the summer, that is our winter) to 4,000 people, including about 100 from Russia, which has a 6-year-round and 3 year old plant. On the continent has its own radio and television station, though only for American explorers. On the continent found iron ore, chrome, copper, gold, nickel, platinum, carbon and a little oil. In the South. Ocean around Antarctica on an industrial scale fish, krill and crabs. Of course, no agricultural activity at temperatures up to -88 C is not carried out, although the ice-covered "only" 98% of the continent, 2% is barren rock. In 1998, signed a moratorium on the development of oil fields in the region of the Antarctic.
In recent years, the continent has become a tourist attraction, which is often incorrectly referred to as extreme. Nothing too extreme in this journey there — heat clad tourists come to the beach on a comfortable cruise ship (including Russia), considering the emperor penguin colony, photographed on a background of rocks and some of the traditional signpost distances to Moscow, London and Buenos Aires . There is also an airplane trip on the Chilean base Frei and the Russian Bellingshausen station on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Political map of the world is very different from the physical. Last painted in shades of three colors — green for the plains to the mountains and the brown hills and blue for lakes and oceans. But the political map of the world with its two hundred states is painted like a gypsy scarf in all the colors of the rainbow. It is a pity that the conditions of the Antarctic Treaty does not apply to the territory of the whole world — we would have done the same physical card without borders.
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