The Arctic Map: Regions, Geography, Facts & Figures

The Arctic region, located in the northernmost part of the Earth, is home to unique wildlife species and plays a critical role in regulating the Earth's climate and ocean currents. Extreme cold temperatures, long periods of darkness, and the presence of ice caps and glaciers characterize this region. It is also home to a variety of unique wildlife species, such as polar bears, walruses, and Arctic foxes.

It is an important scientific and environmental hub that faces significant environmental challenges due to climate change, including melting sea ice and rising temperatures. International cooperation and conservation efforts are crucial for preserving this unique and important part of the world for future generations.

Test your frozen landscape knowledge with our Arctic geography quiz on the North Pole!

 Map of the Arctic

History of the Arctic

The Arctic region has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut people. The first Europeans to explore the Arctic region were the Norsemen, who settled in Greenland in the 10th century. In the 16th century, British and Dutch explorers searched for the Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic region to Asia.

The search for the Northwest Passage continued in the 19th and 20th centuries, with many expeditions ending in disaster. The Arctic region also played a significant role in the Cold War, with the United States and the Soviet Union establishing military bases in the region.

Geography of the Arctic

The Arctic region is characterized by its icy landscapes, with the Arctic Ocean covering much of the area. The region is home to several large islands, including Baffin Island, Greenland, and Svalbard. The Arctic region also has several mountain ranges, including the Brooks Range in Alaska and the Scandinavian Mountains in Norway and Sweden. It is also home to the North Pole, which is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Tourist Attractions in the Arctic

The Arctic region is a popular destination for tourists seeking to explore the region's unique landscapes and wildlife. Tromsø in Norway is a popular destination for viewing the Northern Lights, while Lapland in Finland offers visitors the chance to ride on a reindeer-drawn sled. Visitors can also explore the Arctic Ocean by taking a cruise through the Northwest Passage or visiting the Canadian Arctic's Qausuittuq National Park.

  • Arctic Circle: The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that runs through the Arctic region, marking the area where the sun does not set on the summer solstice and does not rise on the winter solstice. It circles the Earth at approximately 66.5 degrees north of the equator.

  • Arctic Sea Ice: The Arctic region is known for its sea ice, which is an important part of the region's ecosystem. However, climate change has led to a decline in sea ice, causing concern for the region's wildlife and indigenous communities.

  • Northwest Passage: The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic region that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The passage has long been sought after as a quicker route to Asia, but it remains treacherous and difficult to navigate.

  • National Parks: The Arctic region has several national parks, including Canada's Auyuittuq National Park, which is home to some of the region's most impressive landscapes. Russia's Barents Sea Nature Reserve is also a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Land of the Midnight Sun: The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during summer in the Arctic region, where the sun remains visible even at midnight.

Aerial view of two Humpback whales in Greenland
Image Source: Getty Images

People Also Ask...

If you're inspecting maps of the Arctic, you may have some queries about the region. For a better understanding of the Arctic region's geography, a topographic map or a world map comes in handy, so here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Arctic Circle map, along with their answers.

Where Is the Arctic Ocean Located?

The Arctic Ocean is located at the northernmost part of the world, spanning across the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. It is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five oceans, connected to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans via the Bering Sea and Strait.

Where Is the Arctic Located in the World?

The Arctic region, also known as the Arctic Circle, is a vast and unique area that is located in the northernmost part of the Earth. It is a polar zone that covers a wide range of landmasses, including parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, Norway, and the United States. The Arctic Ocean, which is the smallest and shallowest of the world's oceans, is also a part of this region.

What Countries Belong to the Arctic?

The eight countries that have territory within the Arctic Circle are Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States (Alaska).

In addition to these countries, there are also several indigenous groups that have lived in the region for centuries, including the Inuit, Sami, and Yupik peoples, among others.

Is Arctic Circle Cold or Antarctica?

Both the Arctic Circle and Antarctica are characterized by extreme cold. However, the Antarctic is generally colder than the Arctic because it is farther from the equator, has a higher elevation, and is covered by a much larger ice sheet. The average temperature in Antarctica is about -56°F (-49°C), while the average temperature in the Arctic is about -22°F (-30°C).

Why Is the Arctic Called the Arctic?

The Arctic is called the Arctic because it comes from the Greek word "arktos," which means bear. The name may be a reference to the constellation Ursa Major, or the Great Bear, which is visible in the northern sky. It may also be a reference to the many polar bears that live in the region.

The Arctic Information

Maps - The Arctic Territories: Greenland (Den.) · Svalbard (Nor.)


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