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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
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The Arctic Circle hosts the massive Arctic Ocean along with numerous islands.
Several islands lie in between the Arctic and the Atlantic Oceans. A few of these islands are inhabited, while others are snow-clad and completely uninhabitable.
Although the Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the five oceans of the world, with a depth of about 17,880 ft (5,449.8 m), it hosts a multitude of islands, including the world's largest island, which is Greenland. Apart from it, the world's largest uninhabited island, the largest natural bay, the largest coastal shelf, and the largest archipelago in the world are present.
The Arctic Ocean lies to the north of Russia, along with the Franz Josef land archipelago, which covers an extensive area and is covered with ice. Most of these Arctic islands belong to Denmark, while a few of them belong to Canada and Russia as well. The largest islands found in the Arctic circle are Greenland, Baffin Island, Ellesmere, Banks, Devon, Severny Island, Axel Heiberg, Melville, Southampton, and Prince of Whales islands.
It is also the home of the most northerly community in the world, which is located in Norway in the Svalbard Archipelago with a population of about 2,400 people. Several expeditions to the Spitsbergen of the Svalbard archipelago and Jan Mayen island in Norway revealed the presence of exotic flora and unique fauna on these islands. Keep reading to find out more intriguing facts about these islands.
The hostile climatic conditions of the Arctic circle limit the number of travelers. However, due to the increasing climatic change nowadays, the tourist rush to these islands has increased fairly.
The Arctic islands are mostly considered fly-over territories since there is no need to refuel passenger planes in between. These locations are easily reached from Europe, US, and Canada. Also, there are the North Pole and Svalbard sightseeing flights that take passengers for eleven-hour sightseeing.
Airbus 330, which departs from Germany carries the passengers and gives the opportunity to cherish the bespoke view of the glaciers, the remote territory peeking through the lights of the midnight sun. Another way of traveling to the Arctic region is by opting for adventure tours that take on an expedition to the Arctic islands.
Luxury camping experiences in remote destinations in the Arctic region are quite popular. Many tourists enjoy skiing during the summer months. The winter season mostly remains dry due to extreme weather conditions. A cruise expedition will definitely set your eyes on the aurora borealis or the northern lights in the country of Norway at night.
The Arctic circle provides a wide range of wildlife throughout the west coast. Researchers have discovered an array of wildlife in their expeditions.
One can easily discover animals in this region from late May to early September. Polar bears are quite frequently seen around this time. Grizzles, Arctic foxes, humpback whales, sea caribou, and several other animals are spotted on land. More than 200 bird species are seen inhabiting the islands when the temperature rises up a little.
Although the harsh climatic conditions make it a challenging place to live, people do live on the Arctic islands. Several explorers have gone on expeditions to these islands and inhabited there to understand the geography of this region.
People living there have adapted themselves to the extreme climatic conditions. A total of 4 million people live in the Arctic circle. Indigenous people who have arrived from the southern latitudes have settled here. Many archaeologists believe that the Arctic is inhabited by people for more than twenty thousand years. The Yupik, Iñupiat, and Athabascan in Alaska, and the Inuit in Canada, and Greenland are the native population residing on these islands along the sea ice, who came from the southern parts.
These people primarily rely on hunting, fishing, and feeding wild plants that grow in the north pole. A total population of 14,000 is recorded in the Arctic Archipelago. They are capable to predict weather conditions and locomote from one island to another island by boats. The Svalbard archipelago in the northern part of Norway is the only permanently populated island. Only Antarctica is known to possess several uninhabited islands.
Iceland, which is the second-largest island in Europe, after Great Britain, covers an extensive area of about 40,000 sq mi (103,599.52 sq km).
In Norway, the Svalbard archipelago covers a huge area of about 14,546 sq mi (37,673.9 sq km). Thus, it is the largest island in Norway. Svalbard is considered to be the 36th largest island in the world. The world's largest island is Greenland which is located between the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans. It covers a massive area of around 836,298 sq mi (2,166,001.88 sq km).
The flora and fauna in the Arctic islands are abundant. A wide range of plant species grows in this region. Greenland has an impressive collection of flowering plants. Pyrola, yellow poppy, Pedicularis, willow, and dwarf birch are the most common species seen here.
The natural forest in Greenland is situated in the Qinngua valley. More than 470 species of vascular plants are native to Iceland. Many plants that grow here are thought to be present from the Ice Age in history. Grasslands and marshes are plenty in this territory. Low lying shrubs, dwarf birches willow, bog whortleberry, heather, and crowberry are the most common plant species. The Severny Island in Russia situated along the Arctic circle also displays lush green vegetation.
A total of 75 species of vascular plants are discovered on the Jan Mayen island in Norway, which has no permanent population. In terms of fauna, the polar bear species are spotted in abundance in Iceland and the west and southern parts of Greenland. An adventure to the Svalbard territory and the Severny island will let you admire the vast fauna in here. Arctic foxes, reindeer, rats, rabbits, mice, and minks are very common in the Arctic territory. Cruise adventure will let you witness multiple sea whales, dolphins, seals, and a variety of fish species.
The temperature has increased to a great extent in the Arctic land.
The heat from the Sun is absorbed more by the water and rocks on the land, thereby making the Arctic even warmer. This can lead to permafrost thawing, which eventually results in carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Thus, the stratosphere of the earth has contracted due to the rise in carbon dioxide emissions.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Arctic Ocean islands, then why not take a look at animals in the Arctic Ocean or Arctic characteristics.
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