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11 - pole to pole

Polar extremes

Antarctic landscape


Seasons in the Polar Regions are reduced to a long, freezing winter, part of it in continuous night, and 3 months of cool summer.

The lowest temperatures ever recorded were high on Antarctica’s ice caps. The coldest temperature ever measured is -89.2ºC at Russia’s Vostok station on 21 July 1983. The entire Antarctic continent has an average annual temperature of -25 ºC.

So why is it so cold at the Poles?

Below are three data sources about the Poles. Can you explain why one Pole is colder than the other? Study each data source and give your reasons as to why Earth’s polar regions are cold, and why Antarctica is colder than the Arctic.


Solar radiation - Enlarge


cross sections

Polar cross sections - Enlarge


Antarctic circumpolar current - Enlarge


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