Arctic Ocean Facts

Arctic Ocean Facts
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and the shallowest of the world's five major oceans. It is located in the Northern Hemisphere and is almost completely surrounded by North America and Eurasia, including the countries of Russia, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the United States. The Arctic Ocean is almost completely covered by ice in the winter and remains partially covered in ice throughout the entire year. The first person to cross the Arctic Ocean by boat was Fridtjof Nansen in 1896. It wasn't until 1969 that the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean was made, by dog sled.
Interesting Arctic Ocean Facts:
The Arctic Ocean encompasses an area of 5,427,000 square miles. This is almost the same size as Russia.
The North Pole is located in the Arctic Circle.
Three types of ice cover the Arctic Ocean including polar ice, fast ice, and pack ice.
Polar ice doesn't melt and can be as thin as 2 meters in the summer and 50 meters thick in the winter months.
The ice located at the edge of the polar ice is called pack ice, which only freezes completely in the winter.
Fast ice is the ice that forms during the winter around the pack ice and land around the Arctic Ocean.
There is a wide variety of marine life living in the Arctic Ocean, including jellyfish, whales, fish, seals and walruses.
Polar bears live and hunt on the ice of the Arctic Ocean.
There are 4 whale species in the Arctic Ocean including the bowhead whale, grey whale, narwhal, and beluga whale.
There are six seal species living in the Arctic Ocean including the bearded seal, ribbon seal, ringed seal, spotted seal, harp seal, and the hooded seal.
When the ice of the Arctic Ocean melts it releases nutrients and organisms into the water which promotes the growth of algae. The algae feed zooplankton which serves as food for the sea life.
When the sea creatures that live under the ice of the Arctic Ocean they serve as a food source for bottom dwellers such as sea anemones and sponges.
More fish species are found in the Arctic Ocean than anywhere else in the world.
Approximately 25% of the undiscovered petroleum is believed to be located in the Arctic Ocean.
Because of the Arctic Ocean's low evaporation, large freshwater inflow, and its limited connection to other oceans it has the lowest salinity of all oceans. Its salinity varies depending on the ice covers' freezing and melting.
Although the Arctic Ocean is covered by an ice cap, the ice cap is decreasing in size due to global warming and pollution. If it continues to melt it is possible that eventually there will be no more ice in the Arctic Ocean. This may happen by the year 2040.
If the ice disappears, the polar bears living and hunting on the ice of the Arctic Ocean will disappear. They rely on the ice to serve as a platform when they hunt. Without the ice platforms they will starve.
The Titanic sank because it ran into an iceberg that had broken away from a glacier from the Arctic Ocean.

Related Links:
Geography Facts
Animals Facts