10 Interesting Facts about the Arctic

These following facts about the Arctic will provide you much information about this polar region. The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of the Earch. It consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Denmark (Greenlang), Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Its region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost. The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33’N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night. Furthermore, to get to know more about this region, here are some other facts about the Arctic you might be interested in.

Facts about the Arctic 1: Extent of the Sea Ice

In recent years the extent of the sea ice has declined.Life in the Arctic includes organisms living in the ice, zooplankton and phytoplankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, plants and human societies.

Facts about the Arctic 2: Etymology

The word Arctic comes from the Greek (arktikos), “near the Bear, northern” and that from the word arktos, meaning bear. The name refers either to the constellation Ursa Major, the “Great Bear”, which is prominent in the northern portion of the celestial sphere, or to the constellation Ursa Minor, the “Little Bear”, which contains Polaris, the Pole Star, also known as the North Star.

Facts about the Arctic - The Arctic

Facts about the Arctic – The Arctic

Facts about the Arctic 3: Climate

The Arctic’s climate is characterized by cold winters and cool summers. Precipitation mostly comes in the form of snow. The Arctic’s annual precipitation is low, with most of the area receiving less than 50 cm (20 in). High winds often stir up snow, creating the illusion of continuous snowfall.

Facts about the Arctic 4: Plants

Arctic vegetation is composed of plants such as dwarf shrubs, graminoids, herbs, lichens and mosses, which all grow relatively close to the ground, forming tundra. In the northernmost areas, plants are at their metabolic limits, and small differences in the total amount of summer warmth make large differences in the amount of energy available for maintenance, growth and reproduction.

Facts about the Arctic - Sea ice

Facts about the Arctic – Sea ice

Facts about the Arctic 5: Animals

Herbivores on the tundra include the Arctic hare, lemming, muskox, and caribou. They are preyed on by the Snowy owl, Arctic fox, and wolf. The polar bear is also a predator, though it prefers to hunt for marine life from the ice. There are also many birds and marine species endemic to the colder regions.

Facts about the Arctic 6: Natural Resources

The Arctic includes sizable natural resources (oil, gas, minerals, fresh water, fish and if the subarctic is included, forest) to which modern technology and the economic opening up of Russia have given significant new opportunities.

Facts about the Arctic - Polar bears near North Pole

Facts about the Arctic – Polar bears near North Pole

Facts about the Arctic 7: Continuous Wilderness

The Arctic is one of the last and most extensive continuous wilderness areas in the world, and its significance in preserving biodiversity and genotypes is considerable. The increasing presence of humans fragments vital habitats.

Facts about the Arctic 8: International Cooperation

The eight Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark (Greenland & The Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and USA) are all members of the Arctic Council, as are organizations representing six indigenous populations.

Facts about the Arctic - Muskus

Facts about the Arctic – Muskus

Facts about the Arctic 9: Pollution

The Arctic is comparatively clean, although there are certain ecologically difficult localized pollution problems that present a serious threat to people’s health living around these pollution sources. Due to the prevailing worldwide sea and air currents, the Arctic area is the fallout region for long-range transport pollutants, and in some places the concentrations exceed the levels of densely populated urban areas.

Facts about the Arctic 10: Preservation

There have been many proposals to preserve the Arctic over the years. Most recently a group of stars at the Rio Earth Summit, on June 21, 2012, proposed protecting the Arctic, similar to the Antartic protection.

Facts about the Arctic - Arctic fossils

Facts about the Arctic – Arctic fossils

Hope you would find those Arctic facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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