Location History Climate Animals Plants PeopleNorthern Lights and the Midnight Sun

Many people fear the Arctic Circle, especially those who don't like cold weather.However, there is much more to the Arctic than frigid, barren landscapes.Don't mistake it for its (literal) polar opposite, the Antarctica.Arctic seas and land surround the Arctic, whereas Antarctica is surrounded by ocean, ice, and stormy seas.Human, plant and animal life are abundant in the Arctic (well, most of the humans, anyway).Arctic has also a summer and is not constantly covered with ice and snow.Basically, the Arctic Circle has some beauty and wonder to offer.

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Arctic Circle Tour


Artic Cicle Highlights

These pictures are, from top left: Wild Musk Ox; Aurora Borealis viewing; Trans-Alaska pipeline in fall; Caribou near Prudhoe Bay; Dalton Highway & Pipeline north of the Brooks Range.An Arctic Ocean sunset with the Midnight Sun.

There are five major circles of latitude, and the most northerly circle covers about 7,700,000 square miles, about 4% of the Earth.The Arctic Circle stretches across the northern hemisphere, including North America, Greenland, North Asia, Scandinavia, and the Arctic Ocean.Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), and Iceland are the nations that contain land inside the Arctic Circle.Arctic Circle's latitude changes with the Earth's axial tilt, which means its position is not static.During a 40,000 year period, the axial tilt of the Earth fluctuates within 2 degrees.The reason for this fluctuation is due to lunar tidal forces.Consequently, the Arctic Circle has been drifting northward at a rate of about 49ft (15m) annually.


Arctic climate conditions are severe, but they haven't stopped humans from settling there.

- 10,000 years ago, humans began to settle arctic land, becoming the first settlers in the region.

Early European colonizations began during the 15th century.In the last few years, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia have moved northward.

15th Century: European expansion in North America begins.Gold and riches encouraged British and French exploration.The Europeans exported furs.

Alaska is sold by the Russian empire to America in 1867

The Arctic Circle is now home to 4 million people along with numerous polar stations and meteorological centers, large and modern cities, large industrial enterprises, and sea and land transport routes. CLIMATICS

The Arctic climate is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. .Summer temperatures can occasionally exceed 86° F (30° C) and winter temperatures can drop as low as -58° F (-50° C).Now, the Arctic has become the world's climatic laboratory.

.Whales, seals, walruses, fish, and plankton live in the Arctic Ocean.

Even though the Arctic is sometimes considered lifeless, it is home to more than 20,000 species of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms.Aside from grasses, sedges, polar poppies, willow shrubs, dwarf birch, lichens, liverworts, and mosses, the vegetation here includes lichens, liverworts, and mosses.Chukotka Peninsula and Wrangle Island have 40 plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth.

Arctic natives vary throughout the countries that are covered by the Arctic Circle.There are members of the Athabaskan language family in Alaska and Canada, including the Inuit and the Inupiat.In the Russian North live the Komis, the Sakhas and the Karelians.They live in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.Food and clothing are still obtained from the land and the sea for these people.Alaska's most populous city and northernmost town has a population of around 4,500.

.In the Arctic, darkness is a delight as well.


Arctic Circle: what is it?.This imaginary line encircles the earth at latitude 66 33' North.Arctic Circle inhabitants do not experience summer solstice (June 20 or 21) or winter solstice (December 21 or 22).If you travel further north, there will be more days with 24-hour sunlight during the summer or 24-hour darkness during the winter.

This is the result of the Greek word "arktikos", which means bear in English.The Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major, can be viewed in the northern sky.

For at least one day a year, there is all-day sunshine above the Arctic Circle and 24-hour darkness beneath the circle.

The Arctic is warmer than Antarctica.-89.2C (128.6F) was the temperature recorded at the lowest point.

More space than Europe is occupied by the Arctic Ocean, which covers 5.4 million square miles.

Around 1,650 miles south of the North Pole is the line of the Arctic Circle.

12,500 grey whales migratory from the Arctic to Mexico and back every year.

Although Iceland is actually below the Arctic Circle, Grimsey lies exactly on the Circle.

As the ice in the Arctic melts, the sea level would rise by more than 24 feet.Sea levels would rise by 200 feet if all the ice in Antarctica melted.