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Encyclopedia > Polar climate
Solar radiation has a lower intensity in polar regions because it travels a longer distance through the atmosphere, and is spread across a larger surface area.

Regions with a polar climate are characterized by a lack of warm summers (specifically, no month having an average temperature of 10 °C or higher). Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Contents

Types of polar climate

There are two distinct types of polar climate. The less severe of the two is the tundra climate, where at least one month has an average temperature of above freezing, while the colder one — known by various names including the "ice cap climate" and the "perpetual frost climate" — features sub-freezing average temperatures year-round. In physical geography, tundra is an area where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. ... Fig. ... An ice cap is a dome-shaped ice mass that covers less than 50,000 km² of land area (usually covering a highland area). ...


Effects

Polar climates result in the absence of trees in such places, which may also be covered with glaciers or a permanent or semi-permanent layer of ice. The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... A glacier is a large, persistent body of ice, formed largely of compacted layers of snow, that slowly deforms and flows in response to gravity. ... Snowflakes by Wilson Bentley, 1902 Ice is the name given to any one of the 14 known solid phases of water. ...


Examples

On Earth, the only continent where the extreme (EF -- ice cap) polar climate is predominant is Antarctica. All but a few isolated coastal areas on the island of Greenland also have the extreme EF polar climate. Such coastal regions of Antarctica and Greenland that do not have permanent ice sheets have "only" the less extreme tundra (ET) climates.


The northernmost part of the Eurasian land mass, from the extreme northeastern coast of Scandinavia and eastwards to the Bering Strait, large areas of northern Siberia and Northern Iceland have tundra climate as well. Large areas in northern Canada and northern Alaska have tundra climate, changing to ice cap climate in the most northern parts of Canada. Southernmost South America (Tierra del Fuego where it abuts the Drake Passage and such subantarctic islands such as the South Shetland Islands and the Falkland Islands have ET, or tundra climates of slight thermal range in which no month is as warm as 10°C. These subantarctic lowlands are to be found more equatorward than the coastal tundras of the Arctic basin. Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe and includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Photo across the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait (Russian: ) is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43 W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, the westernmost point (168°05... Siberian Federal District (darker red) and the broadest definition of Siberia (red) arctic northeast Siberia Udachnaya pipe Siberia (Russian: , Sibir; Tatar: ) is a vast region of Russia constituting almost all of Northern Asia and comprising a large part of the Euro-Asian Steppe. ... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... Tierra del Fuego (Spanish for Land of Fire) (English pronunciation ; Spanish ) is an archipelago, 28,476 sq mi (73,753 km²), separated from the southernmost tip of the South American mainland by the Strait of Magellan. ... Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica. ... The South Shetland Islands or Iles Shetland du Sud or Islas Shetland del Sur or New South Britain or New South Shetland or Shetland Islands or South Shetlands or Sydshetland or Süd-Shetland Inseln are a chain of islands in the Southern Ocean lying about 120 kilometres northward of...


In other parts of the world, many mountains have a climate where no month having an average temperature of 10 °C or higher, but as this is due to elevation, this climate is referred to as Alpine climate. Polar climates have also been observed on other planets, such as Mars, which has noticeable ice caps on both poles. Lyskamm, 4 527 m, Pennine Alps A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. ... For the climate of the mountains named the Alps, see climate) for a region above the tree-line. ... Adjectives: Martian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 0. ...


See also

The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border Satellite image of the Arctic surface The Arctic is the region around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. ... Surface temperature of Antarctica in winter and summer The climate of Antarctica is the coldest on earth, with the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth being -89. ...

External links

  • NOAA State of the Arctic Report 2006

  Results from FactBites:
 
Polar Climate (183 words)
The polar regions are perpetually covered by snow and ice throughout the year.
Polar climates tend to be dry because the descending air is cold and lacks significant moisture, precluding the formation of clouds and snowfall.
Some polar regions receive less than 10 inches or 250 millimetres of precipitation each year, and can be as dry as the hot deserts of the subtropical climate zone.
Polar climate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (289 words)
Polar climates result in the absence of trees in such places, which may also be covered with glaciers or a permanent or semi-permanent layer of ice.
In other parts of the world, many mountains have a climate where no month having an average temperature of 10 °C or higher, but as this is due to elevation, this climate is referred to as Alpine climate.
Polar climates have also been observed on other planets, such as Mars, which has noticeable ice caps on both poles.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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