Which Polar Region Contains More Land?

The region around the South Pole contains more land than the region around the North Pole. The South Pole is located on the continent of Antarctica, which is approximately 5.1 million square miles. There is no land beneath the North Pole as the area sits on an ice sheet and is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean.

Antarctica makes up 8.9 percent of the land on Earth and is comprised of 98 percent solid ice. The land was designated a continent in 1840. Antarctica experiences average winter temperatures between -40 and -94 degrees Fahrenheit, with winds reaching up to 200 miles per hour. The lowest recorded temperature on Earth, which as of 2015 is -129.3 F, was recorded there. While Antarctica does not have a permanent population, groups of researchers are staffed on the continent and thousands of tourists visit each year.

The North Pole sites on a ice sheet of approximately 6 to 10 feet thick in an area of the ocean that is more than 13,123 feet deep. It is much warmer than the South Pole, with temperatures reaching 32 F in the summer and dropping to -31 F in the winter. The closest inhabited areas to the North Pole are Greenland and the Canadian territory of Nunavut.