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Polar extremes

Seasons in the Polar Regions are reduced to a long, freezing winter, part of it in continuous night, and 3 months of cool summer. The lowest temperatures ever recorded were high on Antarctica’s ice caps. The coldest temperature ever measured is -89.2ºC at Russia’s Vostok station on 21 July 1983. The entire Antarctic continent has an average annual temperature of -25 ºC.

Activity

So why is it so cold at the Poles?

Watch the interactive below and look at the graph. Can you explain why one Pole is colder than the other? Give your reasons as to why Earth’s polar regions are cold; and why Antarctica is colder than the Arctic.

Polar extremes cross section