Antarctica and Antarctica, Arctic. Differences, card, correct definition

The Arctic and Antarctica are two similar in natural conditions, but opposite by location on the earth's globe. Often the Arctic is confused with the Antarctic and on the contrary, and Antarctica is called Antarctica. But it is incorrect: the differences between them are hidden not only in the names, but also in geographical and climatic features.

Definitions of Antarctic, Arctic and Antarctica

The Arctic is the geographical area between the North Pole and the Northern Polar Circle. Differs in ice cover and eternal Merzlot. Translated from the Greek "Arktikos" means "Bear". Antarctica is the geographical area of ​​the southern part of the globe.

It includes:

  • Continant Antarctica;
  • South Aquators of the adjacent oceans with the islands.

The name appeared in the XIX century and originated from the opposition to the Arctic. The combination of "anti" and "Arctic" is translated as located "opposite the Arctic".

Antarctica and Antarctica on the land map. They are located on different poles.

Antarctica is the sixth mainland, 97% of which is covered with ice. On its territory is the South Pole. From all sides of Antarctica is surrounded by the waters of the Southern Ocean and is in isolation from the remaining continents of the Earth.

The overall characteristic of Antarctic

Antarctica is the polar region in the southern part of the globe. Its territory includes Antarctica, nearby islands and southern seas of the quiet, Atlantic, Indian Oceans. The total area is 52.5 million square meters. km. The water border of the Antarctic runs along the edge of the floating ice in the range of 50 ° - 60 ° sh.

Antarctica and Antarctica, differences between which are very significant, are:

  1. Antarctica is an extensive area, and Antarctica is the mainland.
  2. Antarctica is the mainland and the ocean area, and Antarctica is only land.


The region is dominated by the Antarctic climate, which was formed under the influence of a two-kilometer-thick ice shell. The absolute pole of cold (the eastern part of Antarctica) is located in Antarctica.

The Antarctic climate is characterized by the following features:

  • dry and cold continental air masses;
  • infrequent precipitation in the form of snow (rain is extremely rare in the region);
  • low winter temperatures (-50 °С – -60 °С);
  • negative summer temperatures (-15 °С – -30 °С);
  • polar night.

Antarctica's ice cap absorbs 10% of sunlight. 90% of it is reflected and goes into the atmosphere. Air masses form over the central part of the continent and move towards the coast.

This is how cold katabatic winds are formed, the average speed of which is 50-60 m/s. The compressed snow forms an ice sheet, the thickness of which in some cases reaches 4300 m.


The seas of the Antarctic are often combined into the Southern Ocean. It consists of 13 marginal seas named after explorers and sailors. The largest of them: the Lazarev, Bellingshausen, Ross, Amundsen, Weddell seas.

Antarctic marine waters are characterized by transparency, high oxygen content and low salinity. A large number of ice floes and icebergs of continental origin are constantly drifting on the sea surface. They result from debris from continental or ice shelves.

There are lakes and subglacial waters on the Antarctic mainland. There are no rivers or groundwater. The main source of fresh water is the ice cap. In summer, moisture evaporates, and in winter, condensation occurs.

The main difference in the composition of water resources: in Antarctica, only fresh water occurs (mainly in the form of ice), in Antarctica - the amount of sea water prevails over the volume fresh water.

Flora and fauna

Life in the Antarctic exists in three regions.

These are:

  • ocean waters;
  • sea coast;
  • islands.

The vegetation of the Antarctic is represented by mosses, lichens, blue-green algae, and primitive species of fungi. The animal population of the southern continent is not numerous. Small invertebrates, worms, crustaceans, insects live here.

Skuas, albatrosses, terns, petrels, penguins nest on the coast. In Antarctica, 17 types of penguins live, among which the largest appearance is the imperial.

The wealth of Antarctic is a marine fish and an arctic krill. Catto-shaped in the ocean. The abundance of feed attracts to the teeth whales, Finvalov, Coughs. Liston-related are found: Kergelen seals, sea lions and elephants, seals. Islands are populated by the colonies of birds.

Antarctica and Antarctica, the differences of which are to spread life are expressed in the richness of the animal world in the ocean, limitedly representing alive organisms on land.

Antarctic Natural Resources

In the East of Antarctica, deposits of iron ore, rare earth and valuable metals, coal are found. Mineral resource mining activities on the continent are prohibited by the 1959 Agreement. The antarctic waters are limited to sea fishing. Antarctica ice is a valuable natural resource. They contain 90% of the amount of fresh water of the planet.

Studies of Antarctic

Low atmospheric pressure, abnormal frosts, the ice coating did the Antarctic in impregnable. The first attempts to see the southern mainland were undertaken by J. Cook.

Only in 1820, the Russian expedition F. Bellinshausen and M. Lazareva could reach the banks of Antarctica. They proved the existence of the sixth mainland, described its climatic characteristics, the outlines of the coastline, the natural world.

In 1840, J. Dumont-Durville was for the first time at the Ice Earth Antarctica. The South Pole conquered brave Norwegian researchers only in 1911, when R. Amudsen installed the flagpole on the southernmost point of the globe. Since 1955, year-round scientific observations are conducted on the mainland.


Antarctica is a polar continent in the south of the Earth. The magnitude takes the fifth place, yielding only Australia. In the center of Antarctica area of ​​13.2 million square meters. KM is the South Pole. Antarctica is the highest continent (2360 m) of the planet with a variety of relief.

The main part of the mainland is covered with solid ice. The level of the world's ocean depends on the state of the glaciers of Antarctica. The warming and melting of the glacial shield can cause flooding of separate coastal areas of the Earth.

Natural Records of Antarctica:

  • 14 million square meters. KM - Glacier Square;
  • 4776 m - the thickness of the ice shield;
  • 525 thousand square meters. km - the Square of the shelf glacier;
  • 2555 m (below the sea level) - treated vpadina;
  • -91.2 ° C - air temperature.

The territory of Antarctica is not a preceptive state property. It is divided between countries for individual sectors, where scientific stations work year-round.

There are no permanent population: scientists, researchers, doctors and staff staff temporarily live here.

Since 2002, Antarctica has an unofficial flag: the outlines of a white continent on a blue background. The flag was presented at the conclusion of the Antarctic Treaty.

Antarctica and Antarctic, the differences between which, primarily in the fact that this is the geographical area and mainland, also differ in the following:

  1. The geographical concept of Antarctic is wider than Antarctica.
  2. in Antarctica is colder than in the Antarctic as a whole.
  3. The industrial activity on the mainland is completely prohibited, although the antarctic waters are allowed.

The overall characteristic of the Arctic

Arctic is the geographical area in the northern part of the planet of 30 million square meters. km. The heart of the Arctic is located in the center of the ocean-plated North Pole. The main part of the Arctic territory occupies the Northern Arctic Ocean, the neighboring islands and water pools of the outskirts of the seas.

The terrain of the water part of the region is heterogeneous, the depressions alternate with the shelves. On the mainland coast of the United States and Canada prevail the plains. More than 30 northern peoples live in Arctic lands. The main occupation of the local population is reindeer herding and fishing.

The climatic features

for the Arctic is characterized by a harsh polar climate.

It differs:

  • low temperatures;
  • solid precipitation;
  • disadvantage of sunlight;
  • Low Radiation Balance;
  • the existence of many years of permanent;
  • the presence of underground ice;
  • Ice content in the marine water area.

The peculiarity of the Arctic is the polar night, which lasts 6 months, and the same long polar day. Winter is characterized by harsh weather changes, hurricanes, precipitation. The air temperature is kept on the middle mark in -22 ° C. Record low temperature - -40 ° C. Most of the ocean is covered with the thickness of the ice, and the mainland sections are permanent snow cover.

Regular northern winds raise the fallen snow, which creates the effect of unlucky snowfall. Fig-screen spring is distinguished by the appearance of sunlight, melting and movement of ice, increasing the temperature above the zero mark. At this time rains happen. Summer lasts 7 - 10 days, and in southern regions - up to 20 days. In summer, the air temperature warms up to +10 ° C.

Modern scientific research note the trend of the warming of the arctic climate associated with the movement of air masses and changing the speed of rotation of the planet.


Ocean water area of ​​the Arctic is covered with packing (marine) ice sheath. Its average thickness is 4.5 - 7.5 m. The water temperature is kept near the zero mark.

In the northern seas, icebergs, formed from Canadian and Greenland shores. 90% hidden under water, they move the power of underwater flows. Stamuhi - icebergs that have grown stranded. Waters are characterized by moderate saline (30%).

Flora and fauna

Life exists in adverse conditions of the Cold Arctic climate. Mossi, loan lichens, polar will, dwarf birch, berries Brals and blueberries grow in the zone of polar tundra. Scarce vegetation is the main food for reindeer and sheep.

On the snow-covered ice lands of the Arctic, white bears, wolves, and sands feel comfortable. The animal world of the northern seas is much richer. Marine mammals live here: walruses, marine hares, nerves, seals. There are representatives of cetaceans: Kosyats, Beluhi, whales, narrowers. In summer, the mainland coast is the favorite place of the nesting of numerous birds.

Natural resources

The Arctic area contains stocks of valuable energy resources: oil and natural gas. The volume of oil deposits The US Geological Service estimated 90 billion barrels. This amount of energy can provide the need for the population of the globe 145 years old.

But the extraction of minerals and other resources in the Arctic is costly, difficult and environmentally dangerous. The main problem is the elimination of oil spill in the event of a collision with drifting iceberg or an accident on a drifting mining station.

Russia is the main manufacturer of natural resources in the Arctic. The developed deposits are concentrated in the Yamalo-Nenets district (56% of the total gas production in the country), Norilsk (copper-nickel ores), Yakutsk (precious metals), Pechora (oil).

In the future, the production of manganese on the new land, gas in the region of the Kara Sea and oil in the Barents Sea.

The US and Canada introduced a ban on the underwater drilling of oil-producing wells. The decree applies to work in the sea of ​​Beaufort, the Chukchi Sea, in Alaska.

Expeditions to the Arctic

The beginning of the development of the Arctic land belongs to the XVI century. Russian navigators mastered the waterway along the coastline of the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean. V. Barents discovered the island of Svalbard, and the English explorer G. Hudson reached the outskirts of Greenland.

Since the 17th century, explorers have sought to find the North Pole. Two centuries later, W. Parry, D. Ross, D. Nares made expeditions to the northernmost point of the Earth, but to no avail. At the end of the 19th century, the expedition of F. Nansen failed.

In the 18th century, the expeditions of V. Bering explored the northern outskirts of Siberia, compiling maps of the ocean coast. At the beginning of the 19th century, F. Litke described the shores of Novaya Zemlya and the White Sea. In 1899, according to the idea of ​​S. Makarov, the Ermak icebreaker was launched in England, designed specifically for sailing in the Arctic seas.

To no avail F. Cook and R. Pari contested the primacy in the discovery of the North Pole. Since 1929, drifting polar stations have been constantly operating here, making it possible to continuously conduct scientific research.

Differences between the Arctic, Antarctica and Antarctica

The Arctic and Antarctica have common features:

  • prolonged severe frosts;
  • change from polar night to polar day;
  • the occurrence of auroras.

Antarctica and Antarctica, the differences of which are presented in the table, are located in the southern hemisphere.

Comparable characteristic of the object Arctic Antarctic Antarctica
BaseOcean surrounded by landContinent surrounded by oceanLand
Area27 mln. km52.5 mln. km14.1 mln. km
Length of coastline45359 km30000 km
Oceans) Washed by different oceans
Climate typeArcticAntarcticAntarctic
Ice cover14.52 mln. km

Ice cracks

18.83 °ice does not form cracks
composition of icemarine watermarine and fresh waterFreshwater

(ice precipitation)

Unique representatives of the animal worldWhite BearPenguin
Vegetable worldTundra vegetationAlgaeLack of vegetation
Population population4 million peopleof the permanent population does not have
Statehood5 of statesdoes not belong to any state
IndustryProduction of natural resourcesNautical fishery in the oceanProhibition of all types of work
fishing fishery

in the Antarctic Holo Summary because water and dry heat are heated differently and cooled. The Arctic is an ocean in which water is warmer than frozen land in Antarctica. In the summer, the ocean water gives warmly through the ice coating, thereby heating the Arctic air.

In Antarctica, temperatures are lower, because:

  • it is a surmix with an ice-haired hat;
  • This is a high mainland (and the higher - the more colder);
  • from the center of the continent blowing strong cold winds;
  • glaciers slide into sea water;
  • The continent is washed with powerful cold currents.

As a result, Antarctica protects the globe from overheating and contributes to the creation of a temperate climate in other regions.

With the similarity of the Arctic, Antarctic and Antarctica in the climate and characteristic of the polar regions of physical phenomena, there are differences between them: natural, climatic, geographical and political. To date, humanity has a unique opportunity: to join the mystery of the polar regions of the Earth in the conditions of the Antarctic or Arctic Cruise Tour.

Registration of Articles: Lozinsky Oleg

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