Arctic Ocean

Arctic Ocean, Arctic Region

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. Located mostly in the Arctic north polar region in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Ocean is almost completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America. It is partly covered by sea ice throughout the year and almost completely in winter. The Arctic Ocean occupies a roughly circular basin and covers an area of about 14,056,000 km2 (5,427,000 sq mi), almost the size of Antarctica. The coastline is 45,390 km (28,200 mi) long. It is surrounded by the land masses of Eurasia, North America, Greenland, and by several islands. It is generally taken to include Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, White Sea and other tributary bodies of water. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Bering Strait and to the Atlantic Ocean through the Greenland Sea and Labrador Sea. The ocean's Arctic shelf comprises a number of continental shelves, including the Canadian Arctic shelf, underlying the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and the Russian continental shelf, which is sometimes simply called the "Arctic Shelf" because it is greater in extent. Under the influence of the Quaternary glaciation, the Arctic Ocean is contained in a polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges. Winters are characterized by the polar night, extreme cold, frequent low-level temperature inversions, and stable weather conditions. Cyclones are only common on the Atlantic side. Summers are characterized by continuous daylight (midnight sun), and temperatures can rise above the melting point (0 °C (32 °F). Cyclones are more frequent in summer and may bring rain or snow

Arctic Ocean

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