The Antarctic is the coldest, driest, and windiest region on Earth-yet it continues to capture our imagination. Antarctica: Secrets of the Southern Continent tells its story as we know it so far. The book features up-to-the-minute coverage of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, including geology and geography, flora and fauna, current scientific research, conservation issues, and the impact of global warming. Antarctica also includes inspiring stories of polar exploration and scientific enterprise, from early hypotheses about an unknown southern land, through Amundsen's conquest of the South Pole in 1911, the ratification of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, and the subsequent cooperative effort to preserve Antarctica as a continent for peace and science. The authoritative and reader-friendly text is compiled by an expert team of Antarctic scientists, expeditioners, and historians and is illustrated with more than 600 superb photographs.