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This free course is a general introduction to the frozen planet, including the temperature in the polar regions; the energy from the Sun and the seasons; reading and understanding graphs and maps; and how the Arctic and Antarctic regions are defined.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the core concepts in physics, biology, chemistry, geology and basic mathematics that underpin our understanding of the polar world
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions (physical, biological, chemical and geological) which shape the polar environment at different temporal and spatial scales
- express concepts in an objective and factually correct way
- make sense of information presented in different ways, including textual, numerical or graphical material.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Views of the frozen planet
- 2 The temperature in the polar regions
- 3 A flat map of a spherical world
- 4 The energy balance
- 5 Energy from the Sun
- 6 Defining the Arctic and Antarctic
- 7 Summary
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The frozen planet
The parts of our planet that are covered with ice – the so-called frozen planet – have captured human imagination for thousands of years. Restricted to high mountains and towards the poles, they have low human populations but have been the focus of interest from nations, explorers, business people and scientists. In this course the discussion will concentrate on the largest component of the frozen planet, which is closest to the poles: the Arctic to the north and the Antarctic to the south.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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