Reduced sea ice due to melting is causing polar bears to search for new sources of food. The same is not true, however, for the Arctic Ocean. The Dorset were the last major Paleo-Eskimo culture in the Arctic before the migration east from present-day Alaska of the Thule, the ancestors of the modern Inuit. These islands are home to a meteorological station and a Russian Navy base. Despite this size, however, the Arctic Ocean covers less than 3% of the earthâs surface. As temperatures cool dramatically in the winter, ice forms and intense vertical convection allows the water to become dense enough to sink below the warm saline water below. The few expeditions to penetrate much beyond the Arctic Circle in this era added only small islands, such as Novaya Zemlya (11th century) and Spitzbergen (1596), though since these were often surrounded by pack-ice, their northern limits were not so clear. The coldest, windiest place on Earth holds 60 percent of the fresh water on the planet. One of the smallest species of seal, it has a small, cat-like head and a plump body. See our study on Fisheries. Coordinates: 90Â°N 0Â°E / 90Â°N 0Â°E / 90; 0. One of the most well-known iceberg-caused shipwrecks was the Titanic. The symbol of the Arctic is often the polar bear, the pole's cute yet fearsome top predator. These include the polar bear (as much a marine as a terrestrial animal), caribou, arctic wolf, arctic fox, arctic weasel, arctic hare, brown and collared lemmings, ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, and snowy owl. It is sometimes classified as an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, and it is also seen as the northernmost part of the all-encompassing World Ocean. The ringed seal is the most common seal found in the Arctic. Above the ice and below, beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, walruses, and murres prosper. What keeps this marine ecosystem going are organisms you can't see with the naked eye: microscopic phytoplankton and ice algae. The Gakkel ridge forms the Nansen Basin between its border and the continental shelf. , Other environmental concerns relate to the radioactive contamination of the Arctic Ocean from, for example, Russian radioactive waste dump sites in the Kara Sea Cold War nuclear test sites such as Novaya Zemlya, Camp Century's contaminants in Greenland, or radioactive contamination from Fukushima. These increased water temperatures, in turn, cause more ice to melt during the summer and less to freeze during the winter. It may contain up to 10 billion barrels of oil. The area has a fragile ecosystem, and it is especially exposed to climate change, because it warms faster than the rest of the world. Fast ice, unlike pack ice, does not move around. Arctic Aquatic Animals (Sea Animals) Narwhal. The rifting apart of the supercontinent Pangea, beginning in the Triassic opened the early Atlantic Ocean.  The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) uses satellite data to provide a daily record of Arctic sea ice cover and the rate of melting compared to an average period and specific past years, showing a continuous decline in sea ice extent. Sea Otter - Enhydra lutris. The apex predators in the Arctic Ocean - Marine mammals such as seals, whales, and polar bears, prey upon fish. Water in the shelf region that begins as inflow from the Pacific passes through the narrow Bering Strait at an average rate of 0.8 Sverdrups and reaches the Chukchi Sea. Finally, the Arctic Archipelago is made up of over 50 small islands, including: Prince of Wales, Baffin, Victoria, Somerset, Ellesmere, and Banks (to name a few). The Narwhales are very special. It is mostly covered by sea ice throughout the year and almost completely in winter.  In ice-covered regions of the central Arctic Ocean, polar cod is a central predator of primary consumers. There are several ports and harbors around the Arctic Ocean. The density of sea water, in contrast to fresh water, increases as it nears the freezing point and thus it tends to sink. The mean extent of the Arctic sea ice has been continuously decreasing in the last decades, declining at a rate of currently 12.85% per decade since 1980 from the average winter value of 15,600,000 km2 (6,023,200 sq mi). An underwater ridge, the Lomonosov Ridge, divides the deep sea North Polar Basin into two oceanic basins: the Eurasian Basin, which is between 4,000 and 4,500 m (13,100 and 14,800 ft) deep, and the Amerasian Basin (sometimes called the North American, or Hyperborean Basin), which is about 4,000 m (13,000 ft) deep. The Alpha ridge creates a basin that extends from its border to the coastal areas of Alaska and Canada. The Arctic Ocean is fed by a number of freshwater rivers, other bodies of water, and melting ice. 15. , The Arctic ice pack is thinning, and a seasonal hole in the ozone layer frequently occurs. A final example of seasonal pressure system movement is the low pressure system that exists over the Nordic and Barents Seas. There are 12 species of marine mammals that regularly inhabit the Arctic: 4 species of whales, the polar bear, the walrus, and 6 species of ice-associated seals, Several addtional species (e.g. The horn-like spike is actually more like a … They’ve lived off the land and hunted animals for food, clothing, and other essential uses for generations. It also creates the Makarov Basin with the Lomonosov ridge. The strong paws also helps polar bears to swim easily in ice filled Arctic ocean, swill swim hundreds of miles. 5.2 What will be the impact on marine fisheries? It is a product of Atlantic water that enters through canyons and is subjected to intense mixing on the Siberian Shelf. Also, some of these areas listed in the table are located in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean is virtually icelocked from October to June, and the superstructure of ships are subject to icing from October to May.  During the summer, this area of high pressure is pushed out closer to its Siberian and Canadian sides. This ocean covers a total area of 5.427 million square miles, which makes it nearly equivalent to the size of the land area of Russia. A number of icebergs can be found in the Arctic Ocean, having broken free from nearby glacier masses.  Reduction of the area of Arctic sea ice reduces the planet's average albedo, possibly resulting in global warming in a positive feedback mechanism.  During the winter, cold Alaskan winds blow over the Chukchi Sea, freezing the surface water and pushing this newly formed ice out to the Pacific. Because of its relative isolation from other oceans, the Arctic Ocean has a uniquely complex system of water flow. Fridtjof Nansen was the first to make a nautical crossing of the Arctic Ocean, in 1896. Some of the most common animals found living at the Arctic Ocean include: walruses, polar bears, arctic foxes, seals, brown bears, Beluga whales, arctic wolves, Bowhead whales, and Narwhals. Many Arctic animals, such as polar bears, seals, walruses, and seabirds, rely on the seaâs biological productivity and on the presence of sea ice, both of which are highly dependent on climatic conditions. The fervent desire of European merchants for a northern passage, the Northern Sea Route or the Northwest Passage, to "Cathay" (China) caused water to win out, and by 1723 mapmakers such as Johann Homann featured an extensive "Oceanus Septentrionalis" at the northern edge of their charts. The Arctic also has an abundance of plant life, birds, and land animals. decreasing sea ice, polar bears are currently listed as a threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Rifting then extended northward, opening the Arctic Ocean as mafic oceanic crust material erupted out of a branch of Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. Some of the most common animals found living at the Arctic Ocean include: walruses, polar bears, arctic foxes, seals, brown bears, Beluga whales, arctic wolves, Bowhead whales, and Narwhals. The animals include the reindeer, polar bear, Arctic fox, narwhal, walrus, seal, ox, moose, orca, and snowy owl. This shelf is believed to house large oil and natural gas deposits, which has prompted an international dispute over territorial ownership of the area. Retrieved 2 November 2013. All of these factors contribute to giving the Arctic Ocean the lowest level of salinity of any ocean in the world. It stretches around 750 miles toward Siberia and has contributed to the creation of the previously mentioned islands. These large marine mammals, who move easily between ice, water and land, are part of the diverse fauna of the Arctic Ocean. It is only completely frozen during the winter season. In Canada, ships may anchor at Churchill (Port of Churchill) (58Â°46â²28â³N 094Â°11â²37â³W / 58.77444Â°N 94.19361Â°W / 58.77444; -94.19361 (Port of Churchill)) in Manitoba, Nanisivik (Nanisivik Naval Facility) (73Â°04â²08â³N 084Â°32â²57â³W / 73.06889Â°N 84.54917Â°W / 73.06889; -84.54917 (Nanisivik Naval Facility)) in Nunavut, Tuktoyaktuk (69Â°26â²34â³N 133Â°01â²52â³W / 69.44278Â°N 133.03111Â°W / 69.44278; -133.03111 (Tuktoyaktuk)) or Inuvik (68Â°21â²42â³N 133Â°43â²50â³W / 68.36167Â°N 133.73056Â°W / 68.36167; -133.73056 (Inuvik)) in the Northwest Territories. Lemming - Lemmus lemmus. ", "Warmer Arctic with Less Ice Increases Storm Surge", "Arctic Russian Town Declares Polar Bear Invasion Emergency After 52 Wander In", "Watch: Polar bear in Russian archipelago peeks inside a house", "Polar bear invasion: Parents scared to send children to school in remote Russian archipelago", "A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Siberia", 400 million cubic meters of radioactive waste threaten the Arctic area, Plutonium in the Russian Arctic, or How We Learned to Love the Bomb, "A Top-Secret US Military Base Will Melt Out of the Greenland Ice Sheet", "Radioactive contamination from Fukushima found as far north as Alaska's Bering Strait", "5 nations sign declaration to protect Arctic 'donut hole' from unregulated fishing", Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (ArcticGRO), Daily Arctic Ocean Rawinsonde Data from Soviet Drifting Ice Stations (1954â1990), NOAA Near-realtime North Pole Weather Data, "Daily report of Arctic ice cover based on satellite data", Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Effects of global warming on marine mammals, List of countries where Arabic is an official language, Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pineâoak forests, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Arctic_Ocean&oldid=991127968, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, All Wikipedia articles written in Canadian English, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, ÐÐµÐ»Ð°ÑÑÑÐºÐ°Ñ (ÑÐ°ÑÐ°ÑÐºÐµÐ²ÑÑÐ°)â, Srpskohrvatski / ÑÑÐ¿ÑÐºÐ¾Ñ ÑÐ²Ð°ÑÑÐºÐ¸, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 12:00. The winter season is longer than found in other areas of the world, which affects the climate above the ocean. Taxonomy Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Phociadae Genus: Pagophilus Species: Pagophilus Groenlandicus 0 0 Name Common name: Harp seal or Greenland seal. About Arctic Animals. Crowning the top of the world, the frozen Arctic Ocean provides an unlikely home for a spectrum of enchanting creatures. Since 1937, Soviet and Russian manned drifting ice stations have extensively monitored the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Ocean's surface temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes; its salinity is the lowest on average of the five major oceans, due to low evaporation, heavy fresh water inflow from rivers and streams, and limited connection and outflow to surrounding oceanic waters with higher salinities. Arctic Wolf - Canis lupus arctos. It has an average depth of 3,953 feet (1,205 m) and its deepest point is the Fram Basin at -15,305 feet (-4,665 m). Icebergs are not sea ice but may become embedded in the pack ice. Melting of this ice may release large quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, causing further warming in a strong positive feedback cycle and marine genera and species to become extinct. They are also called the unicorn of the sea. The New Siberian Islands are an archipelago chain that covers nearly 11,000 square miles. The agreement calls for those nations to refrain from fishing there until there is better scientific knowledge about the marine resources and until a regulatory system is in place to protect those resources. Here are our Top Ten Arctic Ocean Facts for Kids with lots of useful info for school projects or to get inspired for your next travels. Icebergs pose a hazard to ships, of which the Titanic is one of the most famous. 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