World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Polar regions of Earth

Article Id: WHEBN0000455682
Reproduction Date:

Title: Polar regions of Earth  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Arctic, Arctic Ocean, North American Arctic, Regions of Asia, Regions
Collection: Arctic Ocean, Articles Containing Video Clips, Geography of Antarctica, Geography of the Arctic, Polar Regions of the Earth
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Polar regions of Earth

Visualization of the ice and snow covering Earth's north and south polar regions
Northern Hemisphere permafrost (permanently frozen ground) in purple

The polar regions of Earth, also known as Earth's frigid zones, are the regions of Earth surrounding its geographical poles (the North and South Poles). These regions are dominated by Earth's polar ice caps, the northern resting on the Arctic Ocean and the southern on the continent of Antarctica.

Contents

  • Terrestrial polar regions 1
    • Definitions 1.1
    • Climate 1.2
    • Circumpolar Arctic region 1.3
    • Antarctica and the Southern sea 1.4

Terrestrial polar regions

Definitions

The Arctic has various definitions, including the region north of the Arctic Circle (currently Epoch 2010 at 66°33'44" N), or the region north of 60° north latitude, or the region from the North Pole south to the timberline. The Antarctic is usually defined as south of 60° south latitude, or the continent of Antarctica. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty uses the former definition.

The two polar regions are distinguished from the other two climatic and biomatic belts of Earth, a tropics belt near the equator, and two middle latitude regions located between the tropics and polar regions.

Climate

Polar regions receive less intense solar radiation than the other parts of Earth because the sun's energy arrives at an oblique angle, spreading over a larger area, and also travels a longer distance through the Earth's atmosphere in which it may be absorbed, scattered or reflected, which is the same thing that causes winters to be colder than the rest of the year in temperate areas.

The axial tilt of the Earth has a major effect on climate of the polar regions. Since the polar regions are the farthest from the equator, they receive the least amount of sunlight and are therefore frigid. The large amount of ice and snow also reflects a large part of what little sunlight the Polar regions receive, contributing to the cold. Polar regions are characterized by the polar climate, extremely cold temperatures, heavy glaciation wherever there is sufficient precipitation to form permanent ice, and extreme variations in daylight hours, with twenty-four hours of daylight in summer, and complete darkness at mid-winter.

Circumpolar Arctic region

North polar region polar bears

There are many settlements in Earth's north polar region. Countries with claims to Arctic regions are: the United States (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Russia. Arctic circumpolar populations often share more in common with each other than with other populations within their national boundaries. As such, the northern polar region is diverse in human settlements and cultures.

Antarctica and the Southern sea

[[File:Pygoscelis papua.jpg|thumb|upright|South polar

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.