arctic vs antarctic

Arctic vs Antarctic

Arctic vs Antarctic Comparison List

Choose your preferred destination – Arctic vs Antarctic. Ice cold data, facts and figures about both areas. Did you know the Arctic is home to the biggest desert on Earth? It’s an ICE desert with an average ice thickness of over 2 km. Although that isn’t a typical desert it does fulfill the official requirement which describes a desert as “any area with less than 5% covered by vegetation”.

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LocationLocated around the North Pole, bordering on Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Finland and Russia. It is not a continent which constitutes its (major difference to Antarctica. It extends up to 60° degrees northAntarctica is a continent located around the South Pole. It extends up to 50° degrees south and is surrounded by the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean which was first created in 2000 by the International Hydrographic Organization
DiscoveryPossibly by Phoenician sailors around 320 BC. More reliably, the Viking sailor Gardar Svavarsson was the first person to sight IcelandNot discovered until 1820 by Captain Fabian von Bellingshausen under the Russian flag. However, there is some dispute as to whether others found it before him
First to reach PolesAmerican explorer Robert Edwin Peary on 6 Apr 1909. This record is still controversial until today because Frederick Cook claimed to have been at the North Pole one year earlierIn a race between Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen, Scott set off on 24 Oct 1911 (four days before Amundsen), but his route was about 37 miles (60 km) longer than the Norwegian’s, who eventually won the race and reached the South Pole on 14 Dec 1911. The Briton, Scott, also got there (with 4 companions) on January 17, 1912 but they died of exhaustion on the way back just a few miles from their base camp
Origin of NameNamed after the polar star arktos (“land of the big bear” in Greek). Being circumpolar it never disappears below the horizon. A fitting name because this is where polar bears are foundBecause of its location it was simply named Antarctica meaning “the opposite of the Arctic”
SizeLand and sea area about 10.4 million sq. miles (27 million km2)About 5.4 million sq. miles (14 million km2)
Lowest temperaturesIn mid-February , temperatures in Greenland fall as low as -50°CColdest place in the world: -93.2 degrees (measured at Dome Argus, Antarctica)
Generally in winter as low as -70°C
On average, it is 22°C colder than the Arctic
Highest temperaturesNever warmer than 10°CMax. -20°C in summer.
Ice coverageCa. 7.5 million sq. miles (19.5 m. km2). This was a new record in 2013. Icebergs drift at a speed of about 7.5 miles (12 km) a day and can have an area of up to 70 square miles (180 km2)Average sea ice of about 5.7 million sq. miles (14.8 m. km2). The ice is up to 15,000 feet (4600 m) thick in places. About 75% of all freshwater reserves are frozen in the ice sheet
SunshineVirtually no sun for 182 days a year6 months of daylight in summer and 6 months of darkness in winter
Typical animals in Arctic vs AntarcticPolar bearsNo land animals live in Antarctica but the surrounding seas have seal species such as Weddell, leopard, ross, crabeater, elephant and the Antarctic fur sea, penguin species like adelie, emperor and chinstrap and orcas (killer whales) and blue whales
FloraMainly tundra and flowering plantsVirtually no vegetation apart from lichens

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