If you had to pick an ocean to swim, you would not pick the Arctic, right? That’s because it’s the coldest ocean on Earth, and only the species adapted to its temperature are capable of living there.
 This body of water is the smallest and shallowest of the oceans, and it is in the northern hemisphere. Still, it is 1.5 times larger than the United States. The world “Arctic” comes from the name of the constellation Arktos, which in Greek means “bear.”

Regardless its unbearable cold temperatures, this territory has been inhabited for about 20,000 years by the Inuit and the Yupik, who have physical and physiological adaptations to living in these extreme conditions.

This ocean has an area of approximately 15,558,000 square kilometers and a total of 45,389 kilometers of coastline. It covers about 3.17 percent of Earth’s surface. Its waters touch the northern regions of Alaska, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Russia, and Greenland, and it surrounds several islands. Its area includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, the Beaufort Sea, the Chukchi Sea, the Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the White Sea, Hudson Strait, the Siberia Sea and others. It connects to the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait and the Atlantic Ocean through the Greenland Sea and the Labrador Sea. Its southern boundary is the Arctic Circle, at parallel 66°33′ north.

In the Arctic, massive ice sheets of two or three meters thick float around freely, continually shifting due to winds and ocean currents. If these ice chunks collide, they form irregular lines of ice, known as pressure ridges, which can be three times as thick as the individual pieces.

In winter, the temperature fluctuates between -50°C and -1.1°C.

Properties of the Arctic Ocean.

During the summer, the ice caps are surrounded by the ocean, but in the winter they double in size. The Arctic climate is described as polar, characterized by a perennial cold. The islands have a permafrost layer, in other words, a layer of ice on the soil’s surface. Other land regions like Alaska have a tundra biome.

In the winter, the sun is conspicuously absent, the sky is clear, and weather conditions are stable, but summer has permanent sun and humid environments, occasionally pounded by cyclones and snowstorms. In winter, the temperature fluctuates between -50°C and -1.1°C and in summer, the temperature can be up to 10°C. This ocean has the lowest salinity of any ocean due to low evaporation rates and freshwater inflows.

Properties of the Arctic Ocean

The ocean floor has three main underwater ridges:

1. The Nansen-Gakkel ridge, which extends north of western Russia

2. The Alfa mountain ridge, a plane range with peaks of about 3,000 meters.

3. The Lomonosov Ridge, a mountain range between 3,000 to 3,700 meters high.

It is also divided into three large bodies of water, depending on the depth:

1. Arctic Deep Water, the deepest part, beginning at about 900 meters below the surface

2. Atlantic Water, found between 150-900 meters deep and having the same level of salinity as the Arctic Deep Water but warmer.

3. Arctic Surface Water, above 150-200 meters deep and is a subsurface layer with swift currents.

Economic Importance of the Arctic Ocean

The cold conditions do not deter the proliferation of several species there. Narwhals, walruses, belugas, seals, bowhead whales, and Lion’s Mane Jellyfishes, which grow up 2.4 meters long, inhabit the waters of this ocean. Plankton, algae, various fish species, and polar bears also live in this environment.

In the ground, there are vast deposits of oil, natural gas, and metals, which are essential resources for various countries. Its waters are navigable taking the proper care to avoid icebergs; between March and April, ice covers a large part of the ocean. This challenge has become more important as some tests indicate that it could hold more than 25 percent of the undiscovered deposits of oil and gas.

This ocean is also a maritime link between the east and western Russia and North America. However, the center of this ocean is disputed between Norway, Denmark, United States, Canada, and Russia.

Economic Importance of the Arctic Ocean.

Conservation of the Arctic Ocean.

This ocean is evidently affected by climate change as due to the rising of global temperatures, the ice layer gradually thins. The thaw could cause serious flooding in the future, burying some countries under water, pollute some territories because its high concentration of radioactive contaminants, and alter the direction of ocean currents which could cause severe weather disruptions.

Along with the above, animal species would also be affected. Some researchers think that by the year 2040, the Arctic could be entirely melted because the ice pack of this ocean shrinks by eight percent each year.


Quick Facts.

– It is the smallest ocean.
– The Arctic Ocean is the only home of polar bears.
– Its deepest point is the Fram Basin, which has a depth of 4,665 meters.
– It is five times larger than the Mediterranean Sea.
– During summer, its ice shrinks by 50 percent.

A particular climate identifies every region of the world. The constant rains of England contrast with the aridity of North Africa and humidity in the Brazilian rainforest difference from the polar cold in the northern islands of Russia.

What do we mean by climate?

The climate is the average of meteorological variables in a given area over a prolonged period. These variables can be moisture, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, and of course temperature.

The climate is a primary element used to describe a place or region, and its crucial in detecting phenomena that are out the ordinary. When we talk about climate change, it’s common to hear that rising temperatures are changing weather patterns; this means that in some places where the climate is well known, there are anomalous changes, for example, people experience colder winters than normal or warmer summers.

Several factors influence the climate of a zone, including latitude, longitude, altitude, proximity to the sea, wind direction, and the type of terrain. Usually, as far a place is from the equator, the colder its climate tend to be. Well, in most cases, because some highland areas regardless their proximity to the equator have cold climates. The climate depends not only on one factor but a set of them.

The climate is the average of meteorological variables in a given area over a prolonged period.

Over time, there have been several classifications of climates in the world, but it’s hard to fit them into a single classification throughout history due to their versatility. However, the division of the world into climates is very useful in predicting changes in variables. In a climate classified as “wet,” it’s possible to predict a greater amount of rainfall than in temperate climates, and presumably in a given time span, a higher probability of hurricanes.

While climate classifications are varied, the following five are most common:

1. Tropical.
a. Tropical wet.
b. Tropical wet and dry.

2. Dry.
a. Semiarid.
b. Arid.

3. Moderate.
a. Mediterranean.
b. Humid subtropical.
c. Marine west coast.

4. Continental.
a. Humid continental.
b. Subarctic.

5. Polar.
a. Tundra.
b. Ice cap.
c. Highlands.

Each of the five major types has more particular types of climates as described above. Other experts on the subject include more types such as mountainous.

climate or weather?

Are climate and weather the same thing?

It is a common mistake, but climate and weather are entirely different concepts. Weather is a particular condition in a place and can change over hours, days, months, or a few years, but climate is the average weather pattern over time. That is, a tropical climate is described over several years and is characterized, among other things, by rains that may be stronger or more abundant on some days than others and during the afternoon the temperatures reach 30 C, and that pattern keeps happening during years. A meteorologist, for example, intends to predict the daily weather in a specific place, which has a particular climate.

A meteorologist, intends to predict the daily weather in a specific place, which has a particular climate.

Climatic forces outline the Climate of a place over the course of thirty years, but changes can occur over the course of hundreds or thousands of years. For example, the Sahara desert has had the same climate for millennia.

If you want to learn more about this topic, please go to articles that will explain the characteristics, types, and other related topics.