What Is a Polar Climate?
Can you imagine a place where you can make snowmen, have snowball fights, live in an igloo, walk through strong forces of wind, and bundle up in thick coats, boots, hats, and gloves every day of the year? There are places like this on Earth, and they're located in the polar climates of the North Pole and the South Pole.
A climate is the type of weather a place has most of the time over hundreds of years. A polar climate is a place where the climate usually has a temperature below freezing, is icy, and is covered with snow most of the time. This is because polar climates don't get direct sunlight like other parts of the Earth. Polar climates are usually dry and don't get much rain.
The North Pole has an average temperature of 32° Fahrenheit in the summer, and -40° Fahrenheit during the winter. The South Pole has an average temperature of -18° Fahrenheit during the summer and -76° Fahrenheit during the winter. Climate change has caused an increase in the temperature of polar climates, which has resulted in more ice melting there.
Sunlight in Polar Climates
Can you imagine going outside during recess to find it completely dark outside? What about if the sun was shining in the middle of the night?
Polar climates experience months of complete darkness during the winter. This happens because the sun cannot get to polar regions when that part of the Earth is tilted away from the sun. Polar climates also have 24 hours of sunlight a day during the summer. This occurs when the polar climate is tilted toward the sun. Polar climates only have summer and winter seasons.
Where Are Polar Climates?
The polar climates on Earth are located at the North Pole and the South Pole. The North Pole is in the Arctic, which consists of the frozen Arctic Ocean, northern Canada, northern Siberia, and Greenland. The North Pole is not as cold as the South Pole, because the water in the ocean underneath the ice makes this area somewhat warmer.
The South Pole is on the continent of Antarctica, which is land that is covered with frozen ice. This area is full of mountains, which causes it to be even colder than the North Pole. It even has layers of ice and snow that are miles thick.
Living in Polar Climates
Can you imagine a flamingo or an elephant roaming around a polar climate? They don't have the adaptations to survive there. Although polar climates are much too cold for most wildlife, there are a few animals with adaptations that help them to live in polar climates. Some of these animals are polar bears, Arctic foxes, Arctic wolves, walruses, seals, and penguins. The Arctic Ocean contains whales, salmon, and other sea creatures that live under its frozen surface.
It also would seem like people would stay away from the bitter cold and fierce winds of polar climates. However, a few million people live in the Arctic permanently. In contrast, Antarctica does not have people that live there permanently, although scientists do temporarily move to Antarctica to do research at this mysterious location.
A polar climate is a place where the climate usually has a temperature below freezing, icy, and covered in snow. These areas do not get direct heat and sunlight from the sun.
Polar climates are located at the North Pole of the Arctic, and at the South Pole on the continent of Antarctica. Animals such as polar bears, Arctic foxes, Arctic wolves, walruses, seals, penguins, and some fish live in polar climates, and a few million people live in the Arctic polar climate.
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Polar Climate: True or False Activity
This activity will help you assess your knowledge of the facts about the polar climate.
Determine whether the following statements are true or false. To do this, print or copy this page on a blank paper and underline or circle the answer.
True | False 1. The coldest temperatures of the Earth are found in Antarctic and the Arctic.
True | False 2. The North Pole is much colder than the South pole, especially during winter.
True | False 3. Rains in the polar regions are less frequent, resulting in cold, windy, and dry climates.
True | False 4. The waters of the Arctic ocean, underneath the ice, make the South Pole somewhat warmer.
True | False 5. Polar climates have summer, spring, and winter seasons.
True | False 6. Antarctica is formed by layers of ice and snow that are miles deep.
True | False 7. The Arctic Ocean contains numerous sea creatures that live under its frozen surface.
True | False 8. Scientists usually head towards Antarctica to research on global problems, such as climate change.
- False, because the correct statement is: The coldest temperatures of the Earth are found in Antarctica and the Arctic.
- False, because the correct statement is: The South Pole is much colder than the North Pole, especially during winter.
- False, because the correct statement is: The waters of the Arctic ocean, underneath the ice, make the North Pole somewhat warmer.
- False, because the correct statement is: Polar climates have summer and winter seasons.
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