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Polar Climate Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Can you think of a place that that has the coldest temperatures on Earth, and sometimes has a full 24 hours of darkness? If you lived in a polar climate, this is what you would experience. Continue reading to explore fascinating facts about the polar climate.

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 are 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.

Polar bears live in the polar climate of the Arctic.
Polar Climate

The North Pole has an average temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and -40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. The South Pole has an average temperature of -18 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, and -76 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. Climate change has caused an increase in the temperatures of polar climates, which has resulted in more ice melting there.

Sunlight Differences 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.

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