The geology, ecology and biology of the "continent for peace and science." This comprehensive, fully illustrated and reader-friendly book honors the International Polar Year (2007-08) with a spectacular range of information on Antarctica and the Antarctic Islands, the world's harshest environment. Antarctica features up-to-date material from an expert team of scientists, expeditioners and historians. Included are more than 600 photographs, illustrations and maps. Among the topics covered are: Prehistory of Antarctica Geology and geography Flora and fauna Climate and the nature of ice The Antarctic ozone hole The explorers Current scientific research Conservation issues The impact of global warming The Sub-Antarctic Islands. Detailed information is found on current issues of land, law and treaties, shipping, resource exploitation, and tourism. Also included are the Antarctic Treaty, a gazetteer and a bibliography. Front-page news reports cover the relative health of Antarctica. This authoritative book could not be timelier.