Poles

The Arctic and Antarctic are found on opposite poles of Earth and, despite similarities, these regions are unique in their biology and history.

LATEST POSTS

DIVE DEEPER

The Arctic and The Antarctic

Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean...

Under Arctic Ice

Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.

Ice Divers Prepare to Plunge

It takes special equipment and many warm layers of clothing to dive safely beneath Arctic sea ice . Ice divers look for holes in a melt pond in order to enter the frigid waters.

ROV Video of Stunning Creatures

Using an ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) equipped with a high-definition video camera, scientists can observe the life that flourishes beneath the Arctic ice . On this expedition, they discovered creatures, like this Narcomedusa jelly ,...

Arctic Scientists at Work

Arctic scientists study a range of marine animals – from large species like polar bears to the microscopic, like phytoplankton. The amount of phytoplankton at different depths can tell us about the amount of...

Arctic Exploration

New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can discover the...

National Ice Center Monitors the Arctic and Antarctic

The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient navigation, but it also supports scientific research and provides crucial information used by scientists to better monitor and understand climate change ...

The Wandering Fur Seal

During the winter and spring months, tagged fur seals migrate thousands of miles in open water. Scientists are watching this species closely in order to determine the mystery of its population decline, as less...
A polar bear and her cub on the ice

Polar Bears: One Species at a Time

The Encyclopedia of Life brings us another installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . In this podcast, host Ari Daniel Shapiro relates two close calls with polar bears. Listen as Heather...

Cold Water Diving with WHOI

"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is bulkier and...

Arctic Lesson Plans from NOAA

Explore the Arctic in the "Under Arctic Ice" photo essay, co-developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This...

Arctic Sea Ice: A New Low?

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low. The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center...

Climate Change at the Poles

Polar bears are threatened by the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Credit: K. Elliott, NOAA, Hidden Ocean 2005 At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic...

The Sant Ocean Hall: Life at the Poles Exhibit

Most of you know that the Earth’s poles are cold. But did you know that there are hundreds of organisms especially adapted to living in these extremes? Did you know that the communities at...

Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea

In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana researchers...

Humpback Whales in Antarctica: What Are the Whales Doing?

A humpback whale breaching in Antarctic waters. Credit: Ari Friedlaender Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions...

A Trip South to Antarctica’s Ross Sea

The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy...

Ice-Loving Seals and the Loss of Sea Ice

In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due to a warmer winter climate resulted in hundreds of seal pups being washed up on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Like many, this young seal...

The Cultural Icescapes of the Arctic

The Inupiaq people of Alaska have more than 100 words for different kinds of sea ice, illustrated here. A female walrus and her calf ( isavgalik ) rest on ice ( nunavait ) in...

Pages