NORTH POLE AND SOUTH POLE
COMPARISON and contrast between the North and South Poles
Polar bears live only in the Arctic (though this is not actually the North Pole), and penguins live only in the Antarctic (though this is not actually the South Pole).
The North Pole lies on a floating ice sheet, not a land mass, amidst the Arctic Ocean. The South Pole sits on the landmass known as the continent of Antarctica.
The Antarctic contains about 90% of the world's fresh water, locked up in ice.
The Antarctic is colder than the Arctic.
Over 4 million people live within the Arctic, yet no-one can actually live at the North Pole itself. No-one owns the Antarctic and the permanent population of the Antarctic Circle is nil, but Antarctica has numerous scientific research stations.
The Arctic Circle has a large amount of the world's untapped oil reserves, and many nations are vying to drill there. It is believed there are large petroleum reserves at the Antarctic, but the Antarctic Treaty prohibits oil drilling.
There is a hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic and the South Pole. Although there is thinning of the ozone layer over the North Pole, there is not actually a hole ... yet.
Because the North Pole is an ice sheet, it is more sensitive to climate changes than the South Pole and the Antarctic. The North Pole ice sheet is decreasing in size every year.
There is a North Star at the North Pole but no South Star at the South Pole.
There are no volcanoes at the North Pole (there can't be because there is no land) whilst there are volcanoes under the ice of the South Pole, within the Antarctic.
Both the North Pole and the South Pole are places of extreme cold. Both poles have snow, ice and icebergs. The north and south poles have blizzards, snow storms and extreme temperatures. There are settlements in both places that are used as bases for scientific research.
There are, however, many differences between the Arctic and the Antarctic. Underneath the ice in Antarctica is a huge land mass whereas underneath the Arctic is a sea. The water underneath the Arctic heats the area and makes it a warmer place than Antarctica
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