What’s the deal with Antarctica and the Arctic?

“Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding is that the Arctic and Antarctic are similar. One’s in the north and the other is in the south; but other than that, they’re the same, right? No, this couldn’t be more wrong. These polar opposites are literally polar opposites.
For starters, the Arctic is a small, shallow ocean surrounded by land: Eurasia, Greenland, Canada and the United States. It’s only about 5 ½ million square miles, which is five times smaller than the Atlantic and 11 times smaller than the Pacific. Antarctica, on the other hand, is a continent surrounded by the entire Southern Ocean.

This may seem like no big deal, but it makes all the difference in the world. It takes a lot of energy to change water temperature compared to what it takes to change land temperature, which means Arctic seawater isn’t as cold as the continental ice sheet covering Antarctica. So, the Arctic sea ice (frozen sea water) is about 10 feet thick, whereas the Antarctic ice sheet (compacted freshwater ice) is over a mile thick.”

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, Arctic, Antarctica.

Source: climate.nasa.gov

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About petraspets2

Love to read, love to learn. Teacher Librarian in a PYP School in Australia.
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