Difference between Antarctic and Arctic

Key Difference: The most obvious difference between Antarctic and Arctic is that Antarctic is located in the southern hemisphere and encompasses the South Pole region, whereas Arctic is located in the northern hemisphere and encompasses the North Pole region.

Antarctic and Arctic are two regions on Earth. They are often confused as they have similar names. They also have similar climates and regions. Both are cold regions covered with snow and are known for their below freezing temperatures.

Both the Antarctic and Arctic are Polar Regions. However, the most obvious difference between Antarctic and Arctic is that Antarctic is located in the southern hemisphere and encompasses the South Pole region, whereas Arctic is located in the northern hemisphere and encompasses the North Pole region.

Also the regions actually differ in their climates and wildlife. The Artic is actually warmer than the Antarctic. Similarly, the Artic actually encompasses a vast ocean, the Artic Ocean to be exact, whereas the Antarctic mainly comprises of the Antarctic continent.

Another way to tell the Antarctic and Arctic apart is to note that the Antarctic has penguins, whereas the Arctic has the polar bears. The Arctic also has a more divers wildlife including many organisms living in the ice, such as zooplankton and phytoplankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, and plants. the Artic also have indigenous human societies living in the region, whereas Antarctic only has the scientists that live there to study the region.

 The Artic region also has massive amounts of oil deposits under the ice.

The Artic region is divided among different countries who are already claiming the oil, whereas no one owns the Antarctic. It has been deemed that the region and its resources shall only be used for scientific purposes.

Both regions are also facing various problems due to climate change and global warming, so much as that there is a huge hole in the Ozone over the Antarctic and much of the ice in both the regions has melted.

Comparison between Antarctic and Arctic:

 

Antarctic

Arctic

Description

A continent in the southernmost part of the southern hemisphere.

A polar region in the northernmost part of the northern hemisphere.

Location

South Pole, southern hemisphere

North Pole, northern hemisphere

Also known as

The south pole region

The north pole region

Comprises

The continent of Antarctica and the ice shelves, waters, and island territories in the Southern Ocean situated south of the Antarctic Convergence.

The Arctic Ocean and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

Temperature

Coldest temperatures on Earth

Much warmer than Antarctica

Geography

The region covers some 20% of the Southern Hemisphere, of which 5.5% (14 million km2) is the surface area of the continent itself.

The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33'N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night.

Region

Most of the Antarctic continent is permanently covered by ice and snow; less than 1% of the land is exposed.

The Arctic region consists of a vast ocean with a seasonally varying ice cover, surrounded by treeless permafrost.

Wildlife

  • Seals
  • Penguin
  • South Georgia Pipits
  • Albatrosses
  • Antarctic Petrels
  • Whales
  • Fish, such as Antarctic icefish, Antarctic Toothfish
  • Squid, including the colossal squid
  • Antarctic krill
  • Polar bears
  • Arctic hare
  • Lemming
  • Muskox
  • Caribou
  • Snowy owl
  • Arctic fox
  • Wolf
  • Wolverines
  • Ermines
  • Arctic ground squirrels
  • Seals
  • Walrus
  • Baleen whale
  • Narwhals
  • Killer whales
  • Belugas
  • Larus gulls
  • Many other birds and marine species
  • Human societies

Image Courtesy: worldatlas.com

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