Arctic Circle and Antarctica
Name: Kathy W.
Date: February 2001
My class would like to know the basic differences between
the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.
The term "arctic" refers to the North Pole. The term "Antarctic" refers
to the South Pole -- as in "anti-arctic".
The Antarctic is a continent that just happens to
be at the south pole. There are ice sheets that
extend out from the continent, making it appear larger
than the actual land area.
The area inside the Arctic Circle is a bit different
because much of that area is not composed of land, but
of sea water and thick ice. The Arctic is virtually
flat, whereas Antarctica has an unbelievable variety
of relief, including some large mountain ranges.
These differences between the Arctic and
Antarctica result in some different weather at
the two locations, with Antarctica being somewhat colder
than the Arctic (the ice in the Arctic keeps it a bit
warmer) and often much windier, especially at the higher
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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