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Name: Evan D.
Status: Student
Age: 10
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: March 2001

Why is the south pole colder?


I answered this question for a Newton reader just a few minutes ago.

Basically, because Antarctica is a continent. Antarctica has much higher elevations because of this and somewhat different meteorology than does the Arctic. The area inside the Arctic Circle is mostly seawater and overlying ice; this surface stays warmer than the land areas of Antarctica, resulting in slightly warmer temperatures in the Arctic than in Antarctica.

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory

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