Polar climate

Polar climate

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).

The tundra covers over 20% of the earth. The sun shines 24 hours in the summer, and barely shines at all in the winter (see midnight sun).


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.


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.

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.

ee also

*Arctic oscillation
*Climate of the Arctic
*Climate of Antarctica

External links

* [http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/soa2006/ NOAA State of the Arctic Report 2006]

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