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The Arctic - Regional Analysis

Uploaded by sillewater on Oct 26, 2001

Introduction.
The Arctic is located in the uppermost region of the northern hemisphere. The region consists of of the area around Greenland, USSR, Canada and Alaska (refer to appendices Fig.1). The Arctic is mostly covered by frozen ice all year long. This region also surrounds the Arctic Ocean.

So far the Artic is a naive environment, humans have not yet fully explored the region. But as people search for the resource, more and more people will move into to the area to take what they can, this can tip the balance of the environment, resulting in pollution and destruction of this once perfect environment if the proper management steps are not in place ahead of the rush.

Physical Geography
The Arctic region is located across seven countries and covers an area of 10.4 million square miles, in which Siberia covers eight million square miles, which is bigger than Canada and the United States combined. One third of Canada is within the Arctic, among it over 1.2 million square miles are taiga and tundra, and 0.7 million of it is the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Greenland covers 0.8 million square miles. Alaska covers 0.6 million square miles. Sapmi is the region where the indigenous people in Scandinavia lives, it occupies the smallest area with approximately 0.3 million square miles.

Polar climate describes the Arctic, which means much of this area has a freezing cold climate and covered with ice all year. Harsh winters, low temperatures, and little snow or rainfall characterizes the arctic climate. In winter the days are shorter because the North Pole faces away from the sun, the sun does not set till midsummer and it is only strong enough to warm the top layer of the earth. Three feet below the surface the ground stays frozen. Frozen ground, called permafrost, covers most of this region. The shallow layer is called the active layer, because this layer freezes and thaws throughout the year. In the summer the active layer can thaw just long enough for plants and microorganisms to grow. The thickness of the frozen ground below this active layer varies from a few feet to hundreds of feet.

The Arctic Circle is the border of a zone where the sun doesn’t rise at least one day in winter and never sets during at least one day in summer. The North Pole is not the coldest spot in the Arctic because the...

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Uploaded by:   sillewater

Date:   10/26/2001

Category:   Geography

Length:   10 pages (2,354 words)

Views:   1923

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