It experiences six months of darkness and is the coldest, windiest and driest continent. Gravity accelerates the cold as dense air increases over the 9,000 foot plateau, kicking up katabatic winds or winds that blow down a sharp incline. Hundreds of feet of ice envelope this area from small amounts of snow that have fallen for more than 30 million years. The super dry air contains only small amounts of moisture and the average yearly snowfall would amount to just five inches of water. Cold, blustery winds, passing over warmer, ocean water, kick-up storms that circle the continent, creating a sheath of warmth. This blanket of warmer air prevents this place from getting colder. It’s called Antarctica. As the Weatherman at WIIC-TV, later changed to WPXI-TV, in Pittsburgh, I received considerable criticism from viewers for “counting” the consistent sun-less days. From the end of December through the end of February, we catalogued 67 days without sunshine. Due to the lack of sunshine, Seasonal Affective Disorder involves episodes of depression that increase in late autumn and \advance into the winter months. Symptoms include: increased appetite, daytime sleepiness, less energy, less concentration, unhappiness and irritability.
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