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Arctic Ocean Geography 2018

SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Arctic Ocean Geography 2018
SOURCE: 2018 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on February 28, 2018

Location:
body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle

Geographic coordinates:
90 00 N, 0 00 E

Map references:
Arctic Region

Area:
total: 14.056 million sq km
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
note: includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies

Area - comparative:
slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US

Coastline:
45,389 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

Climate:
polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature range; winters characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow

Terrain:
central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that, on average, is about 3 m thick, although pressure ridges may be three times that thickness; the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera, Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)
major surface currents: two major, slow-moving, wind-driven currents (drift streams) dominate: a clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyre in the western part of the Arctic Ocean and a nearly straight line Transpolar Drift Stream that moves across the ocean from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to the Fram Strait (between Greenland and Svalbard); sea ice that lies close to the center of the gyre can complete a 360 degree circle in about 2 years, while ice on the gyre periphery will complete the same circle in about 7-8 years; sea ice in the Transpolar Drift crosses the ocean in about 3 years

Elevation:
mean depth: -1,205 m
[see also: Elevation - mean depth country ranks ]
elevation extremes: lowest point: Molloy Deep -5,607 m highest point: sea level 0 m

Natural resources:
sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales)

Natural hazards:
ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island; icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from October to May

Environment - current issues:
endangered marine species include walruses and whales; fragile ecosystem slow to change and slow to recover from disruptions or damage; thinning polar icepack

Geography - note:
major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20 to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10 months

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Arctic Ocean on this page is re-published from the 2018 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Arctic Ocean Geography 2018 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Arctic Ocean Geography 2018 should be addressed to the CIA.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may habe the following issues:
  a) The assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assignes counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order






This page was last modified 28-Feb-18
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