The Arctic

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Sun over arctic ocean
By Photographer: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Description: The sun above the Arctic Ocean horizon Sept. 9, 2009.

Because it is winter in my part of the world, my thoughts have drifted toward lands of ice and snow. I do not actually plan to visit the cold regions of the world I cover in my posts, but I am attracted to them because of their beauty and their primeval quality. This week’s post features photos from one of the coldest areas on Earth: the Arctic.

To help you understand where these pictures were taken, I have included a map of the Arctic region. As you can see, the Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean surrounded by parts of several countries: Canada, Russia, United States (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic Ocean includes several seas and other water bodies bordering the previously mentioned countries, such as Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Siberian Sea, and Baffin Bay.

Source: “Arctic” (Wikipedia)

Arctic Map

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arctic.svg
Originally from the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook

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Ice Almost Everywhere

The Arctic is known for its icebergs and other fantastic ice formations. Although some parts of the Arctic experience a short summer with average July temperatures ranging from about −10 to +10 °C (14 to 50 °F), other parts of the Arctic remain icebound all year.

Source: “Climate of the Arctic” (Wikipedia)

Poling a small boat through the Ice Floes in the Beaufort Sea

Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/bigs/theb0030.jpg

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By Hedwig Storch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

5th May 2012: North Polar flight with Air Berlin – Flight back to Northeast Greenland (Photographer: Basti, Editor: Hedwig)

Iceberg with hole near sanderson hope 2007-07-28 2

By Kim Hansen (Own work (Own photo)) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

Iceberg with a hole in the strait between Langø and Sanderson Hope south of Upernavik, Greenland.

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By Hannes Grobe 20:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

Iceberg in Rødefjord (Scoresby Sund), Greenland

Not Completely Devoid of Life

Despite the extreme cold and lack of vegetation, there is life in the Arctic, but mostly animals and invertebrates inhabit this part of the world. Perhaps the best known life form in the Arctic is the polar bear, but walruses, whales, and some other animals live there as well.

Polar bears near north pole

By Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

Three Polar bears approach the starboard bow of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718) while surfaced 280 miles from the North Pole. Sighted by a lookout from the bridge (sail) of the submarine, the bears investigated the boat for almost 2 hours before leaving. Commanded by Cmdr. Charles Harris, USS Honolulu while conducting otherwise classified operations in the Arctic, collected scientific data and water samples for U.S. and Canadian Universities as part of an agreement with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory (ASL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). USS Honolulu is the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine, and the first original design in her class to visit the North Pole region. Honolulu is assigned to Commander Submarine Pacific, Submarine Squadron Three, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The lion’s mane jellyfish or hair jelly is an example of an invertebrate found in the Arctic Ocean.

Largelionsmanejellyfish

By  Dan Hershman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Largelionsmanejellyfish.jpg

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Photo Description:

A Lion’s mane jelly. Photo by Dan Hershman.

Over the years, ancient marine fossils have been found in the Arctic, including a “sea monster graveyard” on an Arctic island chain in Norway.

Arctic fossils

By Brocken Inaglory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arctic_fossils.jpg

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Photo Description:

Marine Fossils at Beechy Island, Canadian Arctic

Category:Fossils

Category:Images of the Arctic

Learn More about the Arctic

If you would like to see more Arctic photos and read more information about the Arctic, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website has an “Arctic theme page”. This page has links to a photo gallery as well as  North Pole Webcams and Arctic You Tube videos.

2 thoughts on “The Arctic

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