Polar climate

climate of Earth's poles

Polar climate has temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) for much of the year. According to the Köppen climate classification, a polar climate is one in which no monthly average goes above 10 °C (50 °F).[1] If the temperature is between 0 °C (32 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) in the warmest month, it is a tundra climate. If the average temperature is below 0 °C (32 °F) in the warmest month, it is an ice cap climate. These climates are found near the poles and on high mountains. There is usually little precipitation because the air is so dry. Ice cap climates are in the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and at high altitude.

Areas inside the red line have a polar climate
The Antarctic Region also has a polar climate

About 20% of the Earth has a polar climate.[2]


  1. Robert Gabler; James Petersen; L. Trapasso, Essentials of Physical Geography (Belmont, CA: Thomson-Brooks/Cole, 2007), pp. 210–11
  2. Kenneth J Gregory, The Earth's Land Surface: Landforms and Processes in Geomorphology (Los Angeles: Sage, 2010), p. 166