GEOGRAPHY

Do People Live on the Poles?

As you probably know, the Earth has a North Pole and a South Pole. The poles are the points on Earth that line up with the Earth’s axis. The axis is a line the Earth follows as it moves around the sun. You have probably heard the Earth’s poles get pretty cold. You might be wondering if anyone lives on them.

Of course, Santa Claus is the most famous figure people say lives at the North Pole, but there are many people who have been to both poles. The question is, how long have they stayed? To answer that, you need to know a few things about the poles, like whether there is even solid ground at the poles for people to live on. Here are some interesting poles facts.

How Many Poles There Are

The poles most people think of are where the Earth meets its axis. You can look at them on a map. On a map, they look like the top and bottom points of the sphere that is Earth. There are also magnetic and geomagnetic poles. Magnetic poles are where the North and South tips of a compass point. Geomagnetic poles are the tips of the Earth’s magnetic field, which always change. They change because the field interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere. Those poles are usually near the poles marked on maps (geographic poles), but they move a little bit all the time.

Temperatures and Living at the Poles

There are many people who have visited the poles, and some even live on the poles for a while, but life at either pole is not easy. The temperature is one of the things that makes living on either geographic pole difficult. The average temperatures are:

  • North Pole in Summer – Thirty-Two Degrees Fahrenheit (Freezing Point of Water)
  • North Pole in Winter – Negative Forty Degrees Fahrenheit
  • South Pole in Summer – Negative Eighteen Degrees Fahrenheit
  • South Pole in Winter – Negative Seventy-Six Degrees Fahrenheit

Since the poles get so cold, anyone living there can’t spend much time outside. If they do go out, they have to wear protective clothing. Layers of clothes, heavy jackets, and waterproof boots are all important.

The Land at North Pole

The area around the North Pole is all made up of large and small chunks of drifting ice. Since ice moves all the time, it is hard for people to live there. They can’t build houses that stay in one place. Ice can also melt a bit, or more ice can form, as the temperature changes.

Right now there is no permanent settlement right at the North Pole, but people living in Northern Alaska and Northern Canada are quite close to it. Many of them belong to Eskimo (Inuit) tribes. Some countries, like Russia, also send ships to explore the North Pole each year. The ships collect information about the area, like:

  • Weather Trends
  • Wildlife Populations
  • Ice Formation Information
  • Ocean Depth
  • Underwater Land Formations, Like Hills and Valleys

The Land at South Pole

Unlike the North Pole, there is solid land at the South Pole. There is also a permanent research base there called Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. About 200 people can live there at once, but the station is not always full. Scientists from all over the world go there at different times of year to study the South Pole.

More to Know About Life at the Poles

If you are ever hoping to visit either pole when you grow up, there are a few things to know. For instance, you won’t find any wild animals at the South Pole Station or around it. To see animals, you have to travel to other parts of Antarctica. If you want to visit the South Pole but you don’t want to be a scientist when you grow up, don’t worry. The South Pole Station is like a little town. It has medical staff, cooks and more. As for the North Pole, living there really isn’t an option. If you ever want to visit, you probably need to join a science team doing a study there.

Learn more about the north and south poles with Spartan and the Gang! Collect adventure pins and much more!

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