Will Antarctica Ever Be Habitable?

Will Antarctica Ever Be Habitable?

Could Antarctica, the coldest, driest and windiest continent ever support the kind of human communities seen elsewhere in the world? Credit: Andrew Peacock via Getty Images

Antarctica is a frigid, inhospitable place, with average winter temperatures dropping to minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 degrees Celsius), winds reaching 200 mph (321 km/h), and just 6.5 inches (166 millimeters) of annual precipitation. It’s no surprise, then, that Earth’s southernmost continent is also the least populated, with only a handful of scientists conducting research there and no permanent residents.

But, given technological progress and the changing climate, could that ever change? Shall Antarctica ever supported the kind of permanent human settlements seen elsewhere on Earth?

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