Argentina - October 6th, 2009
Tierra del Fuego (Spanish for “Land of Fire”) is an archipelago 73,753 km2 (28,476 sq mi) off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The southern point of the archipelago forms Cape Horn.
Tierra del Fuego is shared by Argentina and Chile. More precisely, 18.507,3 km2 belongs to Argentina (38,57% of the region’s total surface), 29.484,7 km2 belongs to Chile (61,43% of total surface).
The climate in this region is very inhospitable. It is a subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfc) with short, cool summers and long, wet, moderate winters. The precipitation averages 3,000 mm (118 in) a year.
Temperatures in Ushuaia hardly surpass 9 °C (50 °F) in summers and average 0 °C (30 °F) in winters. Snowfall can occur in summer. The cold and wet summers help preserve the ancient glaciers.
The southernmost islands possess subantarctic climate typical of tundra that makes the growth of trees impossible. Some areas in the interior have a polar climate.