The North Pole and South Pole seem to look similar, both land at the end of Planet Earth which is dominated by ice, is vast and monotonous. However, the North Pole and South Pole have fundamental differences.
The area covered by ice at the north pole (arctic) covering an area of 5.4 million square miles is actually a frozen ocean surrounded by land which is often called the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, the South Pole (Antarctica) is a 6 million square mile mountainous land and lake covered with ice, and surrounded by oceans.
The Arctic ice thickness varies from a few inches to 2 meters. It’s quite ‘thin’ which often creates cracks in the ice, especially during the summer. In contrast, 99% of the South Pole is covered with ice and glaciers up to 4,700 meters high. This is the continent that holds 85% of the eternal ice on earth. If melted, all of Antarctica’s ice is sufficient to meet three-quarters of the world’s drinking water needs. The Arctic is the only place polar bears are found naturally. Meanwhile, at the South Pole, is the only place penguins are found naturally. These two animals live and rule in their respective territories. Both eat fish and occupy the top of the food chain.
The South Pole is the only place on earth that is not owned by anyone or any country. The South Pole has never had a history of having indigenous peoples and under the Antarctic treaty, it is stated that the land and resources in the South Pole should only be used for peaceful and scientific purposes. Meanwhile, in the Arctic, about 4 million people live in the Arctic Circle in several cities and towns such as Barrow (Alaska, USA), Tromso (Norway), Muramansk and Salekhaard (Russia). The average temperature in the Arctic is -40 degrees C in winter, and 0 degrees C in summer.
Where as in the South Pole, it is -60 C in winter, and 28.2 degrees C in summer. The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was -128 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.6 degrees Celsius), recorded on July 21, 1983 at Vostok Station which is located near the Geomagnetic South Pole.
According to data from the USGS (United States Geological Survey), the Arctic holds 1/4 of the world’s unexplored oil reserves. Russia has claimed and marked large areas in the Arctic in hopes of exploring the gas reserves of the Lomonosov Ridge. Moreover, it is added with the potential for underwater petroleum which is said to store 10 billion tons of oil. The US doesn’t want to be left behind either. They co-mapped their Arctic territory in the State of Alaska. Meanwhile, although the South Pole is thought to also store oil, especially around the Ross Sea, the possibility of it being mined is very small, because of the Antarctic Treaty.
There are more than 60 science centers in the South Pole founded by 27 countries. In summer, more than 4000 scientists come to the South Pole to carry out various studies. Meanwhile, during winter, no more than 1,000 people survive. The US-run McMurdo Station is able to accommodate more than 1,000 scientists, visitors and tourists. Meanwhile, in the Arctic, which is basically a deep sea covered in ice, scientists are carrying out various studies in very different ways. Namely by floating on an icebreaker, or setting up camps on the frozen ocean.