Location background Climate animals Plants PeopleNorthern Lights and the Midnight Sun

The native Arctic Circle may scare some, especially those that aren’t fond that the cold. However, the Arctic has actually a lot much more going ~ above than simply a frigid, barren landscape. Nothing confuse it with its (literal) polar opposite, the Antarctic. The Arctic is surrounded by ocean and also masses of land, whereas the Antarctic is surrounded by nothing but stormy seas and ice (and penguins!). The Arctic is teeming through life – human, plant and animal (well, a few humans, anyway). The Arctic likewise experiences a summer and also is not repeatedly shrouded in ice and snow. The Arctic Circle is composed of part amazing and beautiful surprises.

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Artic Cicle Highlights

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


The many northerly the the five major circles that latitude spans about 7,700,000 square miles, about 4% the the Earth’s surface. The Arctic Circle overcome through north America, Greenland, phibìc Asia, the Scandinavian Peninsula, and the Arctic Ocean. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United claims (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), and Iceland space the 8 countries containing land in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle’s latitude relies on the Earth’s axial tilt, which way 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 since of tidal forces resulting indigenous the orbit that the moon. As a result, the Arctic one is gradually drifting northwards at around 49ft (15m) every year.


Arctic Circle native Fairbanks, Alaska

The Arctic has severe climate conditions, but that hasn’t stopped humans from inhabiting the area.

– 10,000 years ago: people began emerging arctic land, being the first natives of the region. Native then until the 15th century, this northern nation was mostly comprised of hunters and also gatherers v no centralization or hierarchy.

-15th Century: very first wave of European colonization began. Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and 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. Europe traders exported furs to Europe.

-1867: Russian realm sells Alaska to America

-Present: The Arctic one is residence to around 4 million people along with various polar stations and meteorological centers, huge and contemporary cities, big industrial enterprises, and sea and land carry routes.

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


The Arctic one is wherein polar bears, Arctic foxes, wolves and reindeer can be found, and various species of birds such together snowy owls, outright eagles and those ever-so-charming puffins (no penguins!). The Arctic Ocean provides a residence for various types of whales, seals, walruses, fish and plankton.


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


The native people who inhabit the Arctic vary throughout the countries included in the Arctic Circle. There are members that the Athabaskan language family who live in Alaska and Canada, the Inuit and Inupiat. The Russian North includes the Komi, the Sakha and also the Karelians. A group called the Saami live in the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. These human being still rely upon and also utilize the land and sea because that food and for clothing. Barrow is the most populated and northernmost city of Alaska with a population of roughly 4,500.


Due to the position of the Arctic circle on the planet, summer is a time of plentiful light; and on the night that the northern summer solstice, part of the sun might be seen above the horizon at midnight! Darkness is a act in the Arctic, together well. Together the sunlight starts setup again and the nights grow dark, depending on solar activity, the northern Lights or Aurora Borealis might light increase the sky with breathtaking movement of color.



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

“Arctic” comes from the work “arktikos”, the Greek word because that bear. The reason is that Ursa Major, the good 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, there is every day sunshine in the summer and also 24-hours the darkness in the winter.

The lowest temperature tape-recorded in the Arctic is -68C (-90.4F) in Siberia

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

The Arctic s covers 5.4 million square miles, which is more than the area that Europe.

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

Grey whales move 12,500 from the Arctic come Mexico and earlier every year.

Eight countries 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 yet the icelandic island of Grimsey lies specifically on the Arctic Circle.

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If every one of the ice in the Arctic melted, the an international sea level would rise around 24 feet. If every one of the ice cream in Antarctica melted, sea levels would rise around 200 feet.