The Artic Largest, Driest, Coldest, Highest and the Windiest Desert on . An Artic Desert?

Do you know where the largest desert on Earth is? You might answer the '

Desert’. But you are WRONG! The answer is actually the “ DESERT”. :

There is a large amount of variability in climate across the Arctic, but all experience extremes of solar radiation () in both summer and . Some parts of the Arctic are covered by ( ice, glacial ice, or ) -round, and nearly all parts of the Arctic experience long periods with some form of ice on the surface. Also the have an enormous effect on the . They bring dramatic storms with reduced to less than 100 feet. In the winter, temperatures can be as low as -30 - -60° C Annual rainfall is about 200mm (8 inches) along the and far less inland. Distribution of the :

North Pole: Pole

 At the Pole is the  The is occupied Arctic , lying in the by the of middle of islands and , the of which project through and the Canadian arctic the 's greatest ice archipelago. In all cap. No more than about 4 lowland areas the percent of the Antarctic's extreme is capable of experiences above- sustaining life, while only freezing temperatures the coast of on the for a month or more and several off-lying each year, allowing for a islands are warmed each varied and year by above-freezing life. temperatures

Antarctica; home to ice, , and ... what else?

Marine Life: Terrestrial Life:  Sixty percent of ’s seal population  There are approximately resides in Antarctica. 200 species of fish in  such as Snow Petrels Antarctica waters. and inhabit this  are a large portion polar . of .  Penguins  Whales  Polar Bears  Photosynthetic  A wingless midge, Belgica Antarctica, is the largest and only true insect on the continent. Arctic Whales:

Narwhals Bowhead

Arctic :

 In the Arctic, growing conditions for are very varied. In the southern reaches of the Arctic, plant communities can be vigorous, with low growing shrubs. The further north, the shorter and more scarce the ground cover becomes until in the high arctic the are scattered across rocky ground and the most numerous plants are the and . Here flowers are only found below cliffs or other areas of high fertility. Wooly and Hairy Lousewart Arctic Flora: Conditions do appear to favor the mosses and lichens and there are frequently areas with no sign of any vascular plants but with a wide variety of lichens and mosses. But these are slow growing and any damage to them takes many decades to regrow.