- Polar region
Earth's polar regions are the areas of the globe surrounding the poles also known as frigid zones. The
North Poleand South Polebeing the centers, these regions are dominated by the polar ice caps, resting respectively on the Arctic Oceanand the continent of Antarctica. Polar sea iceis currently diminishing, possibly as a result of anthropogenic global warming.
Arctichas numerous definitions, including the region north of the Arctic Circle(66-33N), or the region north of 60 degrees north latitude, or the region from the North Pole south to the timberline.
Polar regions receive less intensive
solar radiationbecause 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.
axial tiltof 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 glaciationwherever there is sufficient precipitation to form permanent ice, and extreme variations in daylight hours, with twenty-four hours of daylight in summer (the midnight sun), and darkness at mid-winter.
Circumpolar Arctic Region
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, and Russia. Arctic circumpolar populations often share more in common which 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 Ocean
The southern polar region has no permanent human habitation.
McMurdo Stationis the largest research station in Antarctica, run by the United States. Other notable stations include Palmer Stationand Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station(United States), Esperanza Baseand Marambio Base( Argentina), Scott Base( New Zealand), and Vostok Station(Russia).
While there are no indigenous human cultures, there is a complex ecosystem, especially along Antarctica's coastal zones. Coastal
upwellingprovides abundant nutrients which feeds krill, a type of marine crustacea, which in turn feeds a complex of living creatures from penguins to blue whales.
Extraterrestrial polar regions
planets and natural satellites in the solar systemhave interesting quirks about their polar regions. Earth's Moonis thought to contain substantial deposits of icein deep craters in its polar regions, which never see direct sunlight. Mars, like Earth, has polar ice caps. On Uranus, meanwhile, the extreme tilt of the planet's axis leads to the poles alternately pointing almost directly at the Sun.
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
* [http://www.barrameda.com.ar/ecology/the-polar-regions.htm The Polar Regions]
* [http://www.polarfoundation.org/ International Polar Foundation]
* [http://maps.grida.no/arctic/ Arctic Environmental Atlas (UNDP)]
* [http://www.windows.ucar.edu/polar.html Earth's Polar Regions on Windows to the Universe]
* [http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/index.html Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution]
* [http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/ Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge]
* [http://www.panda.org/news_facts/education/middle_school/habitats/polar_regions/index.cfm WWF:The Polar Regions]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2007/jun/05/photography?picture=329977040 World Environment Day 2007 "Melting Ice" image gallery at The Guardian]
* [http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/ Polar Discovery]
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Look at other dictionaries:
polar region — noun the part of the Earth s surface forming a cap over a pole; characterized by frigid climate • Syn: ↑Frigid Zone, ↑polar zone • Hypernyms: ↑climatic zone • Instance Hyponyms: ↑Antarctic, ↑Antarctic Zone, ↑ … Useful english dictionary
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polar front — n. Meteorol. the boundary or transition region between the cold air of a polar region and the warmer air of the middle or tropical regions … English World dictionary
Polar city — Infobox title = Polar City name = Polar City caption = This is an artist s rendition of a Polar City planned for Longyearbyen. It represents both above and below ground components which contain city infrastructure, residential housing, limited… … Wikipedia
Polar ice cap — A polar ice cap is a high latitude region of a planet or moon that is covered in ice. There are no requirements with respect to size or composition for a body of ice to be termed a polar ice cap, nor any geological requirement for it to be over… … Wikipedia
Polar circle — The polar circle in Finland, 1975 … Wikipedia
polar front — noun the front of an advancing mass of colder air • Syn: ↑cold front • Hypernyms: ↑front • Hyponyms: ↑squall line * * * noun : the boundary between the cold air of a polar region and the warmer air o … Useful english dictionary
polar — 1 adj. a of or near a pole of the earth or a celestial body, or of the celestial sphere. b (of a species or variety) living in the north polar region. 2 having magnetic polarity. 3 a (of a molecule) having a positive charge at one end and a… … Useful english dictionary