World Facts

Does Antarctica Have Time Zones?

It is difficult to correctly determine the right time zone of Antarctica.

Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent which occupies an area of about 5,400,000 sq miles. Antarctica is bordered by the Southern Ocean. Over 98% of the continent is covered by ice that is about 6,200 ft thick. Antarctica is the windiest, coldest, and driest continent in the world, with the highest average elevation. A huge percentage of the continent is a polar desert with the coastal region receiving an average of 8 inches of precipitation annually. The geographical South Pole is located on this continent.

Time In Antarctica

Antarctica lies on all the longitudinal lines since the South Pole is near the center of Antarctica. Theoretically, the continent is situated in every time zone, but regions located on the southern parts of Antarctica circle have extreme night-day cycles during the December and June solstices. Therefore determining the right time zone for Antarctica is very difficult. The time zones in Antarctica are based on territorial claims. Most of the stations in Antarctica use the time zone of the states owning them or of their supply base. Several regions in the continent don’t have time zones plus there are no temporary settlements in Antarctica with clocks.

Time Zones In Antarctica

Palmer Land

Palmer land is situated between Cape Agassiz and Cape Jeremy in Antarctica. Palmer land is consistent with the 1964 treaty between Advisory-Committee of Antarctic Names (ACAN) and United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee. The agreement resulted in the names Palmer Land for the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula and Graham Land for the northern portion. The Palmer station uses the Chile Summer Time Zone which is 3hours behind UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

Queen Maud Land

Queen Maud Land is a 1.04million square miles piece of land in Antarctica owned by Norway. The region is situated between the Australian Antarctic Territory to the eastern side and the British Antarctic Territory to the western part. The Troll Station situated in Queen Maud Land uses the Central European Summer Time. The Central European Summer Time is 2 hours ahead of the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

Mac. Robertson Land

The Mac. Robertson region is situated on the southern parts of the coast right between Cape Darnley and William Scoresby Bay. The Prince Charles Mountains are part of the Mac. Robertson Land. The Troll station situated in this region uses the Mawson time zone (UTC+5).

Wilkes Land

Wilkes Land is a big district situated on the eastern parts of Antarctica that was previously claimed by the Australians. The region is divided into various coastal areas which extend towards the South Pole. Some of these coastal areas include Clarie Land, Banzare Land, Sabrina Land, Budd Land, and Knox Land. The Davis Station in Vestfold Hills uses the Davis Time Zone (UTC+7), while Casey Station in Bailey Peninsula uses Casey Time Zone (UTC+11:00).

Other Time Zones

Mario Zucchelli Station uses the New Zealand Daylight Time which is thirteen hours ahead of the UTC. Vostok Station uses Vostok time which is 6 hours ahead of the UTC. The Carlini Base uses Argentina Time which is 3 hours behind the UTC.

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