Essay Example on the Arctic Versus Antarctic

Published: 2023-03-13
Essay Example on the Arctic Versus Antarctic
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Geography World
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 564 words
5 min read

The polar regions of the earth, the Arctic in the North Pole and Antarctic in the South Pole, have their distinct characteristics, despite occupying similar regions on the surface of the earth. Apart from possessing several similar characteristics, the two regions differ on various parameters such as topography, climate, animals, human inhabitants, among other features. This essay analyzes into detail the similarities and differences between the two regions of the earth.

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The Arctic and Antarctic topographies are dissimilar in that the topography in the Arctic region comprises of various physical features. On the other hand, Antarctic's topography is predominantly covered with ice. The surface in the Antarctic is almost flat, with very few landforms. Topography in the Arctic, however, comprises of various landforms such as mountains, plains, hills, rivers, lakes, tundra, among others. There are flowing rivers and other water bodies in the arctic, while all the water in the Antarctic is frozen. Ice movement in the Antarctic takes place in the form of glaciers or permanently frozen rivers. The surface on the Antarctic has minimal vegetation cover, and no trees or grasslands as much of it is covered by ice. The Arctic, on the other hand, has plenty of vegetation cover with the dominant being tundra.

Both regions experience long winters and short summers. The winters are cold, while summers are cool. There are also spring and autumn, though very short and unnoticeable on many occasions. Antarctic, however, is cold than the Arctic region. This is because the Arctic borders a coastline whose water's temperature does not fall below 2 degrees Celsius. The ground in the Antarctic is also higher compared to the North Pole and thus the colder temperatures.

Plants in the Arctic region are mostly comprised of the tundra vegetation. There are grasses, short shrubs, sedges, liverworts, lichens, flowering plants, and alpines. The Tundra contains about 1700 plant species. The tundra in the Arctic supports many herbivores, including hares, musk oxen, squirrels, reindeers, among others. On the other hand, only about 1% of the surface in the Antarctic is not covered by ice. This region is characterized by rocks that moss and lichens grow on. Both regions have productive seas as they contain phytoplankton.

There are numerous large land animals in the Arctic. Herbivores and their predators are both found on the North Pole. These include the musk ox, hares, squirrels, the arctic fox, snowy owls, lemmings, the reindeer, the polar bear, among others. The Arctic also contains many marine animals such as the seal and whales. On the other hand, an insect called a wingless midge is the largest animal in the South Pole region. The region contains no flying insects due to the strong wind that blows over it. The Antarctic, however, has many marine animals that usually come to the surface at times. These include adelie, which come to the surface in large numbers.

Both regions contain human inhabitants, with the Arctic containing a large number of people due to the much favorable conditions in the region. Some of the groups of people that live in the arctic include the Yupik, Sami, Chukchi, Inupiat, among others. These communities lead a nomadic life and are predominantly hunters and gatherers. The Antarctic has no native inhabitants but also contains human settlements, though very few. Most of the human inhabitants in the Antarctic are tourists who visit to explore the region

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