The term North Pole usually refers to the Geographic North Pole Ц
the northernmost point on the surface of our planet, where the Earth's
axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface.
There are several other terms concerning the North Pole.
The North Magnetic Pole Ц the point on the Earth's surface where the Earth's
magnetic field points directly downwards.
This pole is not stable; its estimated position in 2005 was 82.7∞ N 114.4∞ W.
The North Geomagnetic Pole Ц the point of intersection of the planet's surface with the axis of a
simple magnetic dipole.
Like the North Magnetic Pole it is constantly moving as in 2005 it was located at approximately 79.74∞ N 71.78∞W.
The Northern Pole of Inaccessibility Ц the point in the Arctic Ocean farthest from land, at about 84∞03N, 174∞51W.
One of the earliest expeditions with the goal to reach the North Pole
was led by the British naval officer William Edward Parry, who in 1827 reached latitude 82∞ 45' North.
The Polaris expedition, an 1871 American attempt on the Pole conducted by Charles Francis Hall, ended in disaster.
In April 1895 the Norwegian sailor Fridtjof Nansen reached latitude 86∞ 14' North.
The American explorer Frederick Albert Cook stated that he reached the North Pole in 1908, but his claim
is not widely accepted.
Anglo-American Navy engineer Robert Edwin Peary is traditionally considered to be the first sailor,
who reached the North Pole.
According to his log he did that on April 6, 1909.
However, Peary's claim remains controversial.
The first undisputed sighting of the Pole was on May 12, 1926 by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and by the
American Lincoln Ellsworth from the dirigible "Norge". Norge was designed and
piloted by Umberto Nobile. The flight started from Svalbard archipelago and crossed the icecap to Alaska. Nobile,
along with several scientists and crew from the Norge, overflew the Pole a second time on May 24, 1928 on the airship Italia.
The first people to set foot at the North Pole were the Soviet Union expedition of Pavel Gordiyenko
and five others, who landed a plane there on 23 April 1948. On May 3, 1952 the U.S.
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher and Lieutenant William P.
Benedict also landed a plane at the North Pole.
In summer the North Pole has got twenty-four hours of daylight daily, but in winter the North Pole
experiences twenty-four hours of
darkness every day. Sunrise and sunset do not occur in a twenty-four hour cycle.
The North Pole is significantly warmer than the South Pole because it lies at sea level in the middle of an ocean,
which play a role of a reservoir of heat.
Winter (January) temperatures at the North Pole can range from about -43∞C to -26∞C.
Average summer temperatures (June, July and August) come to the freezing point (0∞C).
The sea ice at the North Pole is typically about two or three meters thick.