Polar Week: Polar Number Challenge – Take Four


Polar week, day 4! Today’s motto is ‘Macro-scale’. And what could be more macro-scale than a comparison between the two polar regions? So, here is our Arctic-vs. Antarctic list of #PolarNumbers:

  • 91.5%/7.9% of the Earth’s frozen freshwater resources are stored in the Antarctic/Greenland ice sheet, amounting to 99.4% in total
  • 57m/13m: Sea level rise if the Antarctic/Greenland ice sheets melts
  • 35/18 million years: Age of the Antarctic/Greenland ice sheet
  • 2,700m/20-30cm: Height of South/North pole above sea level. This is because Antarctica is a continent, so that the south pole is on top of the Antarctic ice sheet. The North pole is in the middle of the ocean, so it is only covered by sea ice. Approximately 90% of the sea ice are beneath the water, so that you are only some centimeters above sea level if you stand at the North Pole.
  • 1-2m/2-5m: Average thickness of Antarctic/Arctic sea ice. This is because most of the Antarctic sea ice melts in summer, while Arctic sea ice can survive several melting seasons and grow thicker.
  • 1911/1908 (or 1909): First men at the South/North pole. While it is certain that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his crew reached the south pole first before Robert Scott, two men claim to have reached the North pole first: Robert Peary and Frederick Cook
  • 1,000/4,000,000: People living in Antarctica/the Arctic year-round. By the way, here you find a blog of the German 0.1% of the Antarctic “population”!
  • 20,000,000/25,000: Penguins/Polar bears living in Antarctica/the Arctic year-round

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