Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km or 6,200 ft in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antartica also stores around 70% of the world’s fresh water, if it were to melt at the same time sea levels would rise greatly.
More than 170 million years ago, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Over time, Gondwana gradually broke apart, and Antarctica as we know it today was formed around 25 million years ago.
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