An ice cap climate is a polar climate where no mean monthly temperature exceeds 0 °C. The climate generally covers areas at high latitudes and polar regions (60–90° north and south latitude), such as Antarctica (e.g. Halley Research Station and Williams Field) and some of the northernmost islands of Canada and Russia. Most of Greenland is under the influence of an ice cap climate, although the coasts are prone to more influence from the sea. Some regions on the islands of the Svalbard Archipelago facilitate an EF climate. Areas with ice cap climates are normally covered by a permanent layer of ice and have no vegetation.
Flight safety and planning considerations
Operations in extremely low temperatures bring numerous challenges. There is little precipitation so airframe icing due to precipitation alone is less common than in lower latitudes. Aircraft avionics and other aircraft systems may well be adversely affected by cold soaking and the temperatures experienced may potentially be outside the envelope for many components. Manufacturers will provide guidance for operating in such an environment and there may be a need, for example, to remove the aircraft battery if the aircraft is to be parked outside of a hangar for any prolonged period of time. Pay careful attention to Altimeter Temperature Error and beware of optical illusions when flying VFR in an ice cap/ice sheet environment.