How Cold Is It in the Arctic?

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Depending on the time of year, the average temperature of the Arctic can range between 0 degrees Celsius in the summer to 40 degrees Celsius in the winter. The Arctic’s cold temperatures can be attributed to different variables, one of which is the low position of the sun.

As the sun is lower on the horizon, solar energy needs to pass through thicker layers of atmosphere to reach the ground. The Arctic’s snow and ice surfaces have high reflectivity, which means that energy is reflected rather than retained in the ground. Due to the combination of thicker atmosphere and high reflectivity on the ground, very minimal heat can be retained during the summer.