The Arctic region is located in the northernmost part of Earth and is home to the North Pole.
On cold days, people say it feels like the Arctic outside. That is because it is extremely cold in the Arctic. Summers are cold, and winters are even colder.
Temperatures as low as -68 degrees Celsius have been recorded in the Arctic.
The Arctic occupies approximately one sixth of the Earth’s surface.
The Arctic is almost entirely covered by water, most of it is frozen. The ice of the arctic, including the glaziers and icebergs contain about fifteen percent of world’s fresh water.
The name Arctic comes from a Greek word “Arktos” the Greek word for bear. The North Pole aims at the stars called the little bear and the great bear. This is why it is called the Arctic.
If all the ice in the Arctic melted, the global sea level would rise 24 feet.
The Arctic, also know as the Arctic region, is made up of Greenland, Northern Canada, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Alaska (U.S.A), parts of Russia and the Arctic Ocean.
The Arctic receives 24 hours of sunlight each summer, but 24 hours of darkness each winter because of the Earth’s tilt.
Over recent years, the Arctic region has shrunk due to global warming.
The largest iceberg in the Arctic was recorded in 2010, with an astonishing area size of about 260 sq km (100 sq miles) and a thickness of 50 meters (165 feet). It had broke away from the Peterman Glacier in northwest Greenland.
In the Arctic, low air temperatures make the ocean freeze over in the winter. However, fish and other animals flourish beneath the ice, and are hunted by predators such as seals and penguins.
In the Arctic, seals are the main prey of polar bears. They hunt on the sea ice all winter long, and rarely return to land.
Despite the hazardous conditions, the Arctic is home to many animals and plants, which have adapted to life in harsh environment.
Around 1,700 different species of plants live in the Arctic tundra, including flowering plants, dwarf shrubs, herbs, grasses, mosses and lichens. These are all tough cookies, able to survive the plummeting temperatures.
There is no trees to be found in the Arctic tundra. In fact the word tundra comes from the Finnish word “tunturia” which means “treeless plain”.
Other animals that live in the Arctic include the Arctic Hare, the Snowy Owl, the Arctic Tern, the Muskox, the Canadian Lynx, the Beluga Whale, the Arctic Fox, the Narwhal, the Walrus, Wolverines, Squirrels, Seals and last but not least the Polar Bear.
Polar bears are only found in the Arctic and are the largest land predators on Earth. The largest one recorded was a male, he was four meters long and weighed 1,004 kg.
About four million people call the Arctic their home despite the freezing cold temperatures and harsh conditions. The Arctic is much more than just polar bears and ice, as there are many thriving and modern settlements that has been inhabited by indigenous (Arctic People) people for thousands of years.
The Arctic has plenty of natural resources including fish, oil, gas and large quantities of minerals such as iron ore, copper, nickle, zinc and diamonds.
The Arctic was once considered almost worthless, but now as the ice melts it is primed to become one of the most important regions in the world, with its valuable oil, gas, mineral and fishery reserves that is stored in the Arctic seabed.
Because of the Arctic’s potential resources and trade impact, countries are stepping up military development in the Arctic region.