The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov


Reference work entry
Arctic (derived from a Greek word “arktikas” meaning “northern” and “arktos” meaning “bear”) – a northern Polar Region of the Earth lying within the Arctic circle 66°73. It is situated in the region around the North Pole. The Arctic region derives its name from the name of the Ursa Major constellation. It includes seawater areas that are covered with drift ice in the summer, making it unfavorable for navigation as well as land territories where there is ice cap and treeless tundra on the permafrost. Within the Arctic lies the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas with the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Greenland Island, the Svalbard Archipelago, Franz Josef Land Archipelago, Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, and others and part of the European northern coast, the northern coast of Asia and America, and a significant part of mainland on the Taymyr Peninsula. The border of the Arctic is also drawn along the isotherme with the temperature +10 °C of the warmest month (July or August) which almost coincides with the northern border of woody vegetation. Within these borders the Arctic occupies the area of about 25 million km2 of which 10 million km2 is land and about 15 million km2 is water surface.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016