Polar climates are those that have an average temperature below 10°C throughout the year. Two major polar climates are the tundra and ice cap climates. These climate types are found at very high latitudes.
Photo: Polar climate – ice cap (Creative Commons: Ronald Woan).
Polar climates are cold year round. Average air temperatures are below 10°C for every month. Polar climates are found in Antarctica, North America and Asia.
This type of climate does not support forest type plant communities. Polar climates either have tundra vegetation or no vegetation at all. Despite the presence of snow and ice, the actual amount of precipitation is very low. Polar climates are like deserts with respect to precipitation.
Ice Cap Climates
The ice cap climate is the coldest on earth. The average temperature for every month is below 0°C. Vegetation cannot grow in this frozen environment. Precipitation is very low year round. The snow and ice that can be seen has been accumulated over a long period of time.
Antarctica is the only continent that is covered with an ice cap. The northern parts of Asia and Greenland also have an ice cap climate.
Photo: a tundra polar climate (Creative Commons: pml2008).
The tundra climate is another very cold climate type. However, unlike the ice cap climate, it has at least one month where temperatures are above freezing (0°C).located from 50° to 70° latitude. It is found in the northern latitudes of North America and Asia. The summer is short with mild temperatures.
Tundra climates cannot support trees. On the other hand, some small shrubs, mosses, and lichens are able to survive. These small plants make up the tundra vegetation.
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Continental Climate, Enviropedia.