Scott Polar Research Institute

The SPRI, of Cambridge University, UK, was founded in 1920 as a memorial to the men who died during Captain Scott’s 1910-13 South Pole expedition. Its resources cover the entire Arctic and Antarctic with an extensive library and archives, research departments in several polar specialities, and a small public museum. It has become a global centre for history, geography and research, both in the field and laboratory, for these two regions.

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Largest desert

A “desert” is simply an area that has no or very little rainfall. By this definition, the largest desert is the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which covers more than 99% of the 14-million-km2 (5.4-million-sq-mi) continent of Antarctica. Each year, the region receives an average of just 50 mm (2 in) of “water equivalent” precipitation (e.g., rain, snow and hail) – decreasing farther inland.