Characteristics of living in a northern environment

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Circumpolar Arctic Region

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ARCTIC The most northern part of the earth around the North Pole - and one of the coldest places on Earth. At the center is the Arctic Ocean - covered by a thick ice cap and surrounded by the northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia.
The Arctic Area
Technically, the Arctic is the area within the Arctic Circle, but we can also think of the Arctic as:
- the area north of the "treeline" (farther north than trees can grow), where there is only tundra and the Arctic Ocean, or
- the area where the average temperature for the warmest month is below 10°C (50°F).

The frozen sea extends south from the North Pole (all directions are south) for at least 800 km (500 miles). Beyond that the sea is only frozen for part of the year. At about that range the first signs of land also appear.
p-10.jpgThe Earth's tilt makes the North Pole face toward the Sun in summer (keeping it in sunlight even as the Earth spins) and away from it in winter (keeping it dark).

Visit more Maps and geography




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Land
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Cities
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  • Thule
Water
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Baffin Bay
  • Baltic Sea
  • Barents Sea
  • Beaufort Sea
  • Bering Sea
  • Bering Strait
  • Chukchi Sea
  • Davis Strait
  • Denmark Strait
  • E. Siberian Sea
  • Greenland Sea
  • Gulf of Bothnia
  • Hudson Bay
  • Kara Sea
  • Labrador Sea
  • Laptev Sea
  • North Sea
  • Norwegian Sea
  • Sea of Okhotsk
  • Great Bear Lake
  • Great Slave Lake
  • Lake Ladoga
  • Lake Onega
  • Kolyma River
  • Lena River
  • Mackenzie River
  • Ob River
  • Pechora River
  • Yenisey River
  • Yukon River
Other
  • North Pole
  • Arctic Circle
  • Treeline
  • 10º Isotherm
Play Game Know your Arctic Places


The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, also known as just the Arctic Archipelago, is an archipelago north of the Canadian mainland in the Arctic. Situated in the northern extremity of North America and covering about 1,424,500 km² (550,003 sq mi), this group of 36,563 islands comprises much of the territory of Northern Canada – most of Nunavut and part of Northwest Territories.
The archipelago extends some 2,400 km (1,491 mi) longitudinally and 1,900 km (1,181 mi) from the mainland to Cape Columbia, the northernmost point on Ellesmere Island.
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Arctic Archipelago
It is bounded on the west by the Beaufort Sea; on the northwest by the Arctic Ocean; on the east by Greenland, Baffin Bay and Davis Strait; and on the south by Hudson Bay and the Canadian mainland. The various islands are separated from each other and the continental mainland by a series of waterways collectively known as the Northwestern Passages. Two large peninsulas, Boothia and Melville, extend northward from the mainland.
The archipelago contains 94 major islands (greater than 130 km² (50 sq mi)), including three of the world's ten largest islands, and 36,469 minor islands. The sizeable islands of the archipelago (over 10,000 km² (3,861 sq mi), in order of descending size) are:
Name
Location*
Area
Area rank
Population
(2001)
World
Canada
Baffin Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
507,451 km² (195,928 sq mi)
5
1
9,563
Victoria Island
Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
NT,
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
217,291 km² (83,897 sq mi)
9
2
1,707
Ellesmere Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
196,236 km² (75,767 sq mi)
10
3
168
Banks Island
Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
NT
70,028 km² (27,038 sq mi)
24
5
114
Devon Island
NU
NU
NU
55,247 km² (21,331 sq mi)
27
6
0
Axel Heiberg Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
43,178 km² (16,671 sq mi)
32
7
0
Melville Island
Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
NT,
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
42,149 km² (16,274 sq mi)
33
8
0
Southampton Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
41,214 km² (15,913 sq mi)
34
9
721
Prince of Wales Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
33,339 km² (12,872 sq mi)
40
10
0
Somerset Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
24,786 km² (9,570 sq mi)
46
12
0
Bathurst Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
16,042 km² (6,194 sq mi)
54
13
0
Prince Patrick Island
Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
NT
15,848 km² (6,119 sq mi)
55
14
0
King William Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
13,111 km² (5,062 sq mi)
61
15
960
Ellef Ringnes Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
11,295 km² (4,361 sq mi)
69
16
0
Bylot Island
Nunavut
Nunavut
NU
11,067 km² (4,273 sq mi)
72
17
0
After Greenland, the archipelago is the world’s largest high-Arctic land area. The climate of the islands is arctic, and the terrain consists of tundra except in mountainous areas. Most of the islands are uninhabited; human settlement is extremely thin and scattered, being mainly coastal Inuit settlements on the southern islands.
British claims on the islands were based on the explorations in the 1570s by Martin Frobisher. Canadian sovereignty, originally (1870-80) only over island portions that drained into Foxe Basin, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait, over all of them was not established until the 1880 transfer by Britain to Canada of the remaining islands; the District of Franklin was established in 1895, which comprised almost all of the archipelago; the district was dissolved upon the creation of Nunavut in 1999. Canada claims sovereignty in a sector continuing to the North Pole, a claim that is not universally recognized. In addition, Canada claims all the waterways of the Northwestern Passages as Canadian Internal Waters; however the United States and most other maritime countries view these as international waters.[1Disagreement over the passages' status has raised Canadian concerns about environmental enforcement, national security, and general sovereignty. Hans Island, in the Nares Strait east of Ellesmere Island, is a territory currently contested between Canada and DenmarkVisit reference wikipedia.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Arctic_Archipelago#cite_note-dispute-0