The Arctic Ocean is entirely surrounded by land with hardly any openings to the larger ocean. The Arctic Ocean is one of the Eldest water areas in the world. The Antarctic is much deeper with more compressed drop offs. The ice cover in The Arctic is usually thicker than what it is in the Antarctic. In the Arctic there is permanent ice coverage all year round. In the winter polar species have a very slow growth rate but in the summer the growth is much faster. The ice in the Polar Regions can actually protect some species. Ice in the areas can also be a very good source of shelter for animals such as Ringed seals who can live in small caves to protect their young from predators like Polar Bears. Ice can also be negative because it can damage very easily with its cold temperatures. The Ice cover in the Arctic is 15 million square kilometres at a maximum but a 7 square kilometre at the minimum. The maximum ice cover in the Antarctic is 18 million square kilometres and a minimum of 3 million square kilometres.