Arctic is an ocean covered by thin layers of perennial sea ice and surrounded by land while Antarctica is a continent covered by very thick ice cap. The melting of ice and glaciers in the two affects the weather pattern and human activities differently as seen below:
Warming of the Arctic has seen to be related by the scientists to slowing of the jet stream, and its looping southwards.
Melting of ice in Arctic has made the ENSO cycle erratic, and higher emergence of El-nino events.
Melting of Arctic ice is linked to Central Pacific Trade wind intensification, weakening of extra-tropical cyclones.
Melting of Arctic ice will lead to extreme weather events in the middle latitudes.
Melting of Arctic ice might lead to opening of North Sea route for global trade, saving both time and cost.
Reduced opportunities for the native population for subsistence hunting, fishing and herding.
Rise in temperature is likely to cause physiological stress in people adapted to be living in cooler climates.
Melting of glaciers in Antarctic will lead to slowing of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, disrupting gulf stream.
The warming of Antarctic will cause colder winters and hotter summers in North Atlantic.
Melting of Antarctic glaciers is linked with extreme weather events in Europe.
The warming of Antarctica Circumpolar Current can aggravate the effects of global warming.
Melting of Antarctic glaciers could raise the sea levels substantially, affecting the people on SIDS.
Melting of Antarctic glaciers will enhance the incidences of coastal erosion and storm surges, causing loss of life/livelihood for the coastal people.
The melting of ice and glaciers in Arctic and Antarctic will have irreversible consequences for the humans as well as the global weather patterns. The need of the hour is to adopt sustainable approach to minimise the effects of global warming.