Polar regions

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LOCATIONS , CLIMATIC CONDITIONS AND LIFE IN POLAR REGIONS A Glance:

LOCATIONS , CLIMATIC CONDITIONS AND LIFE IN POLAR REGIONS A Glance

POLAR REGIONS:

POLAR REGIONS Polar regions include the Arctic in the Northern Hemisphere and Antarctica in the Southern Hemisphere. The Arctic encompasses a large, mostly frozen ocean surrounded by land, is home to almost four million people ( ACIA, 2004 ), and includes some or all of the territories of eight nations, including the United States. By contrast, Antarctica is an ice-covered continent surrounded by ocean and is generally uninhabited. The Arctic is expected to experience the greatest rates of warming compared with other world regions ( IPCC, 2007a ). In part, this is because ice has greater reflectivity (also known as albedo ) than the ocean or land. Melting of highly reflective snow and ice reveals darker land and ocean surfaces, increasing absorption of the sun's heat and further warming the planet, especially in those regions. There is evidence that climate change is already having observable impacts in the Arctic and in Antarctica. Many of these observed changes are consistent with the expected effects of climate change under a range of climate scenarios.

POLAR REGIONS:

POLAR REGIONS

POLAR BEARS :

POLAR BEARS POLAR BEARS have a thick oily fur coat and a layer of blubber under their skin. They spend most of their time on the pack ice or in the water, where they can hunt their favorite food - the ringed seal. The white fur helps the bear sneak up on seals that are laying on the ice. In the summer it is harder to catch seals, so before summer arrives, the bears eat as much as they can to fatten up, then live off the fat in their bodies. The females digs a den in the snow to hibernate during the worst part of the winter. The cubs are born in the den .

PENGUINS :

PENGUINS PENGUINS ( order Sphenisciformes , family Spheniscidae ) are a group of aquatic , flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere , especially in Antarctica . Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have become flippers . Most penguins feed on krill , fish , squid , and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend about half of their lives on land and half in the oceans. Although all penguin species are native to the southern hemisphere, they are not found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only few species of penguin live so far south. Several species are found in the temperate zone, and one species, the Galápagos Penguin , lives near the equator .

WOLVES:

WOLVES WOLVES Tundra wolves live on the mainland. Arctic wolves live farther north on the islands. Tundra wolves are often brown or grey. Arctic wolves are smaller and white in colour . They have a thick undercoat of soft fur and an overcoat of long, thick hair. To help reduce heat loss, they have smaller more-rounded ears, a short muzzle and shorter legs than other wolves.Wolves hunt in small packs. Arctic wolves hunt musk oxen, caribou and arctic hares. They also eat lemmings, birds and ground squirrels

ARCTIC FOX:

ARCTIC FOX ARCTIC FOX is hard to see in the snow. It has a thick white coat of fur for the winter. In the summer the coat is brownish-grey. The Arctic fox eats alot of lemmings. They also eat hares, birds' eggs and the chicks. If there is alot of food, the female has eleven or more pups, but if there is not much food she may have only five or six pups .

ARCTIC HARE:

ARCTIC HARE HE ARCTIC HARE lives farther north than any other hare. They live among the rocks on hillsides where they can hide from foxes, wolves, owls and other enemies. Hares eat grasses, willows and other plants. Their favorite meal is the arctic willow. Hundreds of them gather together in herds, to stay warm, and for protection from their many enemies. When a noise is heard they hop away in all directions. The fur of the hares that live farther south may change to gray or brown for the summer .

WALRUS:

WALRUS THE WALRUS has to eat thousands of krill and shellfish each day. With its thick whiskers, the walrus feels around in the water for krill and on the ocean floor for shellfish. Layers of blubber protect the walruses when they swim in the freezing Arctic seas and when they lie out on the ice in the bitter cold wind. Walruses are very noisy animals. They are often seen crowded together on ice floes or on the shore.

PEOPLE :

PEOPLE Many groups of people live in the Arctic. Some have moved there from a southern place. Some groups have lived there for thousands of years. The largest group of people in the Canadian Arctic are the Inuit. They live along the coast and hunt seal, caribou and whales. They also trap and fish. The Inuit used to be known as Eskimos (which means "eaters of raw flesh"). The term Inuitmeans "the people".The language they speak is Inuktitut.There are seven different dialects of the Inuit language

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