factors/processes in polar climates

notes on the reasons behind several factors in polar climates

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relatively cold all year round

  • latitude (insolation)- recieves little insolation due to exteme latitudes, the suns energy has to be spread over a bigger area, so it's less concentrated. also, the suns energy has longer distance to travel through the atmosphere so more energy can be reflected out by the atmosphere.
  • albedo effect- snow keeps poles cold as it reflects most of the energy that reaches the ground, cooling the area further
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vary large variation in temperature

  • latitude- summer 24 hr daylight as the north pole is closer to the sun than the south pole- warmer

               -winter 24hr daylight as the north pole is further away from the sun than the south pole-cooler

  • continentality- much cooler inland but warmer at the coasts due to the warming effect of the oceans
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relatively dry but variable precipitation in Antar

  • cooler temperatures means less moisture can be carried by the wind
  • high air pressure=less rain
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katabatic winds

  • cool air blowing from central antartica towards the coast
  • when this air reaches lower ground it is forced under warmer air, so it travels towards the coast close to the surface chilling the land as is passes
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