What is ‘the Arctic’?
The Arctic is not a country or continent. It is a huge area at the extreme north of our planet. It sits above the Arctic Circle, an imaginary line that wraps around the globe at approximately 66° 34′ N.
The Arctic is made up of several oceans and countries. These are:
- The Arctic Ocean (the world’s smallest ocean) and its surrounding seas.
- Greenland (the world’s largest island).
- Part or all of the land of eight countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Russia, and the United States.
Click on the map to have a closer look!
Arctic map kindly supplied by WorldAtlas.com
Did you know?The term ‘Arctic’ comes from the ancient Greek word Arktikos which means ‘the Country of the Great Bear.’
What is the Arctic region like?
Most people think of snow and polar bears when they think of the Arctic. But in fact the Arctic region is home to many different landscapes and people. The vast Arctic Ocean is surrounded by a lot of snow and ice in the northern parts, but also great forests, wetlands and stretches of tundra – treeless plains over frozen ground. Many different people, plants and animals live in the Arctic, living closely with their environment and adapting to live in a climate that many of us would find very hard to survive in.
Cool Fact! The North Pole lies in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and is the most northerly point on the planet.
We found out lots of fascinating facts about the Arctic from the ACIC Executive Summary and IPCC Summary Report. Please feel free to download either of these if you’d like to learn even more about the Arctic.