Polar Opposites

The North and South Poles are at opposite ends of the earth. Below are characteristics of each area.

Arctic Circle/ North Pole Antarctica/ South Pole
An almost landlocked sea of frozen ice covers the North Pole. Antarctica is a huge continent, the center of which is the South Pole. It is a roughly circular landmass between 5 and 6 million square miles, about the size of Africa.
The Center of the Arctic Circle is the 10,000-foot deep Arctic Ocean, which is really a branch of the Atlantic Ocean The center of the continent is a high plateau hidden under a perpetual ice cap, 9,000 feet thick at the pole.
The land that surrounds the North Pole includes Greenland, northern Scandinavia, the northern territories of Siberia and parts of Alaska and northern Canada. Antarctica is surrounded by the Antarctic Ocean, which contains the southernmost parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The Arctic region is, on the average, 35 degrees warmer than Antarctica. Antarctica is one of the coldest, windiest, driest, and highest places on Earth. Temperatures average minus 70 to minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. The coldest recorded temperature is minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
A range of animals lives in the Arctic Circle including polar bears, hares, gulls, gullemots and zooplankton. Antarctica is a frozen desert. It receives less than 2 inches of precipitation a year. Nothing lives there except lichens, mosses, fungi and fresh water algae. Penguins, seals are found along the coast and reproduce in the Antarctic waters.
The northern polar region has been the home of the Inuit (commonly known as Eskimo) people for thousands of years. Unlike the northern Polar Regions, Antarctica is uninhabited by humans. Scientists and researchers from many nations live and work there today.


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