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Arctic region, Earth

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of the Earth.

Description and ClimateEdit

The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. The Arctic region mostly consists of a vast ocean with a seasonally varying ice cover, 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.

The Arctic's climate is characterized by cold winters and cool summers. Precipitation mostly comes in the form of snow. The Arctic's annual precipitation is low, with most of the area receiving less than 50 cm. High winds often stir up snow, creating the illusion of continuous snowfall. Average winter temperatures can be as low as −40° C, and the coldest recorded temperature is approximately −68° C. Coastal Arctic climates are moderated by oceanic influences, having generally warmer temperatures and heavier snowfalls than the colder and drier interior areas.

Socially and politically, the Arctic region included the northern territories of the eight Arctic states, although by natural science definitions much of this territory is subarctic.

EcologyEdit

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. Life in the Arctic includes organisms living in the ice, plankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, plants and human societies.

In the 20th through 22nd Centuries, the extent of the Arctic’s sea ice declined. The Arctic was affected by global warming. Due to the poleward migration of the planet's isotherms (about 56 km per decade), the Arctic region (as defined by tree line and temperature) shrunk. Perhaps the most spectacular result of Arctic shrinkage is sea ice loss. There was near-complete to complete loss in September 2040 to September 2100. At that point sea ice loss stabilized, then slowly started reversing  in 2177.

Arctic TodayEdit

Today, most damage to Earth’s Arctic region caused by warming is repaired. It is considered to be a park area, and is kept in near wild conditions similar as it would have been in the 19th century. Although many indigenous people still live there, the majority of beings in the region are tourists and support personnel.

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