Polar Climates

Can you even begin to imagine living in a place that is so cold that you would never need flip flops or shorts, and you’d probably never eat a popsicle?

In fact, you’d live in thick sweaters, boots, jackets, gloves, and hats!

Well, these places exist. Read more to find out about polar climates!

What you need to know about Polar Climates

Polar climates are very, very cold with lots of snow and strong winds.

These areas are definitely not the place to decide to live!

It is so cold that only research scientists, Polar bears, and Seals live there.

There is absolutely no one else there that has made it their home.

The land is flat and covered with snow and ice. In warmer areas, called the Tundra, there is some vegetation that exists.

Facts for Kids
Facts for Kids

Winter and Summer

In the Tundra zone, the winters are very long and very dark.

When summer arrives though, the plants grow quickly and some animals like moose, birds, and fish come out to play and feed on the plants.

These are small plants like Lichen, which is a mix of algae and fungus and their leaves are red, which absorbs the heat. How neat is that?

  • Summer isn’t exactly warm and it definitely doesn’t last long, so the animals have a field day with their food!
  • The Tundra is on top of a thin layer of ice called permafrost, which will never melt.
  • The temperature is always very cold and averages -12⁰C to 6⁰C. Brrrrrr!!!
  • The North Pole is called the Arctic Region and the South Pole is called the Antarctic Region.
  • The North Pole and the South Pole are called the ice cap climates. The ice is so thick that it reflects the Sun’s light. Even in summer, the ice doesn’t melt.

You would think that these areas would be very snowy, but some of the ice cap regions hardly get any snow or rain, like Antarctica.

Believe it or not, but Antarctica is the largest desert on Earth.

That sounds totally weird, as it’s covered in ice, but true! It’s got an ice cap 1.6km thick. Whoa!

The climate at Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth.

The first man to reach the South Pole was Roald Amundsen, from Norway, along with four men and dogs on December 14th, 1911.

That must have been a rather difficult journey!

Facts Polar about Climates for Kids

  • Not many people live in the Tundra zone, but they sometimes head there during the summer to hunt.
  • Antarctica has the lowest temperature ever recorded at −89.2°C. Now that is seriously cold!
  • Antarctica is a continent and is the smallest one at 14.2 million km²
  • Antarctica is about 98% thick ice sheet and 2% barren rock; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves make up 11% of the area of the continent.
  • The continental ice sheet makes up about 90% of the world’s total amount of ice. Wow!
  • The lowest point on Antarctica is the Bentley Subglacial Trench is –2,538 m below sea level. The highest point is Vinson Massif at 4,897m high.
  • The Arctic on the other hand is mostly made up of the frozen Arctic Ocean, that surrounds the North Pole.
  • It is 14.056 millionkm².ou heard of knots? Well, this is a measure of the speed at sea. 1 knot equals 1.85km per hour. Sailors use this measurement.
  • The surface of the Arctic is covered by a drifting polar icepack that is about 3m thick.
  • The icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter. Wow, that’s quite something!
  • The lowest point is the Fram Basin at –4,665m below sea level and the highest point on 0m which is at sea level.


If you want to be a great explorer, you could get on your warmest gear and see if you can make it to these seriously cold places and become famous. Think you’re up for it?