Location history Climate animals Plants PeopleNorthern Lights and also the Midnight Sun

The native Arctic Circle might scare some, particularly those that aren’t fond of the cold. However, the Arctic has actually a lot an ext going top top than just a frigid, barren landscape. Nothing confuse it with its (literal) polar opposite, the Antarctic. The Arctic is surrounding by ocean and masses that land, whereas the Antarctic is surrounding by nothing but stormy seas and ice (and penguins!). The Arctic is teeming v life – human, plant and also animal (well, a few humans, anyway). The Arctic likewise experiences a summer and is not consistently shrouded in ice and snow. The Arctic Circle consists of part amazing and also beautiful surprises.

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Pictures in stimulate left come right, height to bottom:Wild Musk Ox; Aurora Borealis viewing; Trans-Alaska pipeline in fall; Caribou near Prudhoe Bay; Dalton Highway & Pipeline north of the Brooks Range. Midnight Sun close to the Arctic Ocean.


LOCATION

The most northerly of the five major circles that latitude spans roughly 7,700,000 square miles, about 4% of the Earth’s surface. The Arctic Circle passes through northern America, Greenland, north Asia, the Scandinavian Peninsula, and the Arctic Ocean. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United claims (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), and also Iceland room the 8 countries containing soil in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle’s latitude counts on the Earth’s axial tilt, which means it’s position is no fixed. The Earth’s axial tilt fluctuates in ~ 2 degrees over a 40,000 year period. This fluctuation is present due to the fact that of tidal pressures resulting indigenous the orbit of the moon. As a result, the Arctic circle is slowly drifting northwards at about 49ft (15m) every year.



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Arctic Circle from Fairbanks, Alaska
HISTORY

The Arctic has actually severe climate conditions, yet that hasn’t stopped people from inhabiting the area.

– 10,000 year ago: humans began arising arctic land, gift the first natives that the region. Native then until the 15th century, this northern nation was mostly consisted of of hunters and also gatherers with no centralization or hierarchy.

-15th Century: first wave that European colonization began. Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and also Russia started moving towards the north.

-16th Century: europe expansion starts in the Americas. Gold and also riches lured the British and also French come explore. European traders exported furs come Europe.

-1867: Russian realm sells Alaska come America

-Present: The Arctic circle is residence to about 4 million people in addition to various polar stations and also meteorological centers, big and contemporary cities, large industrial enterprises, and sea and also land deliver routes.
CLIMATE

Long, cold winters and also short, cool summers are qualities of the Arctic climate. Sea ice, glacial ice, or eye covers some parts if the Arctic year round, and also almost all of the Arctic experiences long periods the the year through some type of surface ar ice. Winter temperatures deserve to drop below -58° F (-50° C) ,and summer temperatures have the right to occasionally exceed 86° F (30° C). Now, the Arctic is significant as the climatic laboratory for the rest of the planet.


ANIMALS

The Arctic one is whereby polar bears, Arctic foxes, wolves and also reindeer deserve to be found, and also various types of bird such together snowy owls, fully eagles and those ever-so-charming puffins (no penguins!). The Arctic Ocean provides a house for various species of whales, seals, walruses, fish and plankton.


PLANTS

Although the Arctic is sometimes thought of as a ar devoid the life, end 20,000 types of plants, animals, fungi, and also microorganisms do the Arctic home. Vegetation includes grasses, sedges, polar poppies, pasture shrubs, dwarf birch, lichens, liverworts, and also mosses. In some areas like the Chukotka Peninsula and also Wrangle Island, 40 types of plants and animals aren’t discovered anywhere else on the planet.


PEOPLE

The native world who inhabit the Arctic vary throughout the countries consisted of in the Arctic Circle. There room members the the Athabaskan language family who live in Alaska and also Canada, the Inuit and Inupiat. The Russian North contains the Komi, the Sakha and the Karelians. A group referred to as the Saami live in the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. These people still rely upon and utilize the land and sea for food and for clothing. Barrow is the most populated and northernmost city that Alaska through a populace of about 4,500.


NORTHERN LIGHTS and also THE MIDNIGHT SUN

Due come the position of the Arctic circle on the planet, summer is a time of numerous light; and also on the night the the north summer solstice, part of the sun may be seen above the horizon in ~ midnight! Darkness is a law in the Arctic, together well. Together the sun starts setting again and also the nights prosper dark, depending on solar activity, the north Lights or Aurora Borealis might light up the skies with breathtaking activity of color.


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ARTIC CIRCLE quick FACTS

What is the Arctic Circle? An imaginary heat encircling the earth, This line is located at latitude 66 33′ North. In the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set on summer solstice (June 20 or 21) and is walk not increase on winter solstice (December 21 or 22). The father phibìc you travel, over there are much more days through 24-hour sunlight during the summer month or 24-hour darkness in the winter months. In ~ the phibìc Pole, the sun does not collection for 180 days.

“Arctic” originates from the work “arktikos”, the Greek word for bear. The factor is the Ursa Major, the great Bear constellation is viewed in the north sky.

The Arctic Circle point out the an ar above which, because that at the very least 1 work a year, over there is every day sunshine in the summer and 24-hours the darkness in the winter.

The shortest temperature taped in the Arctic is -68C (-90.4F) in Siberia

Antarctica is chillier than the Arctic. The lowest recorded temperature to be -89.2C (128.6F).

The Arctic ocean covers 5.4 million square miles, which is much more than the area of Europe.

The line of the Arctic one is about 1,650 miles southern of the north Pole.

Grey whales migrate 12,500 native the Arctic come Mexico and back every year.

Eight nations extend right into the Arctic: Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada and also the USA (Alaska).

Mainland Iceland is actually listed below the Arctic however the icelandic island that Grimsey lies precisely on the Arctic Circle.

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If all of the ice cream in the Arctic melted, the global sea level would certainly rise about 24 feet. If every one of the ice in Antarctica melted, sea levels would rise about 200 feet.