The Arctic Ocean, located entirely in the north polar region, is the smallest of the world's five oceans. Ocean is surrounded by the land masses of Europe, Asia, North America, and Greenland and a number of islands, as well as by the Barents, Beaufort, Chukchi, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Lincoln, Wandel, Greenland, and Norwegian seas. The deepest depth observed in the Gakkel Ridge region was 5,173 meters and the shallowest was approximately 600 meters.
Ten Facts about Arctic Ocean
- The Arctic Ocean is a major source of very cold air that inevitably moves toward the equator, meeting with warmer air in the middle latitudes and causing rain and snow.
- Arctic Ocean, located mostly in the north polar region, is the smallest of the world's five oceans, and the shallowest.
- The Arctic Ocean is divided into two basins, the Eurasian Basin, and the North American Basin, by the Lomonosov Ridge.
- Approximately one-third of the Arctic Ocean is underlain by continental shelf, which includes a broad shelf north of Eurasia and the narrower shelves of North America and Greenland.
- Artic ocean areas are all in blue with the darker blues the deeper areas.
- Arctic water that flows along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean drives a circulation of water around the entire planet.
- Arctic Ocean is commonly described as one of the lungs of the deep global ocean.
- The average depth of the Arctic Ocean is 1038 m (3,407 ft), in part due to the large extent of continental shelf extant on the Eurasian side.
- The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of all the oceans and is covered with ice most of the year.
- Climatologists and oceanographers predicted the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free much of the time within the next 50 years.