Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 25 – Arctic or Polar Climate YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 25: Arctic or Polar Climate

Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 25: Arctic or Polar Climate

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Image of Arctic or Polar Type

Image of Arctic or Polar Type

Image of World Map

Image of World Map

  • North of Arctic Circle

  • Ice-Caps – Greenland & highland of high latitude regions – permanent snow cover

  • Tundra climate – lowlands with few ice free months – coastal Greenland, North Canada, Alaska & Arctic seaboard of Eurasia

  • Ice Cap – Antarctica in SH - single stretch of ice-cap – permanent ice of 10,000 feet


  • Very low temperature

  • Range from (around 4 months have temperature above freezing point)

  • Winters – long & severe (weeks of continuous darkness)

  • Summers – cool and brief

  • Sun rays occur as faint rays – reflected by ground snow or ice melting

  • Soil water is frozen and summer heat can thaw for 6 inch of soil

  • Frost and blizzards are commonly seen – sometimes can be hazardous

  • Coastal Areas – Warm water meets cold land then thick fog develops

  • Precipitation as snow in winters & varies from ice crystals to snowflakes

  • 10-12 inches of snow make 1 inch of rain

👌 Convectional rain is absent – due to low rate of evaporation and lack of moisture in cold polar air

  • Summer precipitation – rain or sleet

  • Anticyclones over ice caps

  • Coastal areas – cyclones (tendency towards winter maximum when cyclonic activity is greatest) – rainfall upto 37 inches recorded


  • Tundra type – few plants can survive – deficiency in heat

  • No trees

  • Mosses, lichens and sedges

  • Drainage is poor – subsoil is permanently frozen

Image of Plants In The Tundra

Image of Plants in the Tundra

  • Hollows – ponds, marshes & waterlogged areas

  • Sheltered areas – birch, willow and alder

  • Coastal areas – hardy grass & reindeer moss (pasture for herbivores like reindeer)

  • Summers – berry-bearing bushes, Arctic flowers as Arctic Prairies

  • Birds migrate in summer back to polar areas

  • Animals – Wolf, Fox, Musk-Ox, Arctic Hare & Lemmings

Image of Animals Polar Climate

Image of Animals Polar Climate

Human Activities

  • Confined to coasts

  • Plateaus and mountains are inhabitable and snow covered

  • Semi-nomadic life

  • Eskimos – around 28,000 – hunters, fishers, food gatherers – now in permanent huts

Image of Polar Eskimo

Image of Polar Eskimo

  • Polar Eskimos around Thule in NW Greenland – uncertain life – winters (compact igloos) & summers (portable tents of skins)

Image of Igloos

Image of Igloos

  • Food – fish, seal, walrus, polar bear

  • Hunt caribou (Reindeer in America) for meat, milk, fat, skin and bones

  • Now Eskimos have permanent wooden houses with kayaks being replaced by speed boats, use rifles rather than traditional harpoons, now schools are established in those areas

Image of Harpoons and Kayaks

Image of Harpoons and Kayaks

Image of Harpoons

Image of Harpoons

  • Large farms for raising reindeer and breeding fur bearing animals

👌 Nomads of Eurasia

  • Lapps – N. Finland & Scandinavia

  • Samoyeds in Siberia

  • Yakuts in Lena Basin

  • Koryak & Chuckchi in NE Asia

Importance & Recent Developments

👌 Discovery of minerals

  • Gold – Alaska

  • Nickel – Petsamo, USSR

  • Petroleum – Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

  • Copper – Rankin Inlet, Canada

  • Coal – Spitsbergen & Alaska

  • Iron Ore – Lake Superior & now Labrador (railway line to bring ores to St. Lawrence River); Kiruna & Gallivare in Sweden

Ports on Arctic seaboard of Eurasia – Ship timber & fur from Siberia

👌 Igarka Port on Yenisey River – more ice-breakers keep the route open

  • Trying to grow hardy cereals for local needs in Arctic lowlands with warm currents and higher temperatures

  • Healthy air & germ free atmosphere is must for future colonization

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