The Arctic ( /ˈɑrktɪk/ or /ˈɑrtɪk/) is a polar region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, the United States (Alaska), Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost. The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33'N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night. Alternatively, it can be defined as the region where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F); the northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region.
Socially and politically, the Arctic region includes the northern territories of the eight Arctic states, although by natural science definitions much of this territory is considered subarctic. The Arctic region is a unique area among Earth's ecosystems. The cultures in the region and the Arctic indigenous peoples have adapted to its cold and extreme conditions. In recent years the extent of the sea ice has declined. Life in the Arctic includes organisms living in the ice, zooplankton and phytoplankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, plants and human societies.
Famous quotes containing the word arctic:
“Does the first wild-goose care
whether the others follow or not?
I dont think so he is so happy to be off
he knows where he is going
so we must be drawn or we must fly,
like the snow-geese of the Arctic circle.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“Nature confounds her summer distinctions at this season. The heavens seem to be nearer the earth. The elements are less reserved and distinct. Water turns to ice, rain to snow. The day is but a Scandinavian night. The winter is an arctic summer.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)