Portal:Arctic

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Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle.


The Arctic- The geography north of the Arctic Circle is predominantly ocean, mostly ice-covered, but a great deal of land falls within the Circle as well. Recently the region north of the Arctic Circle has gained significant international attention due primarily to the threat of global warming. Initial attention came as a result of the fact that the earth's poles are the points at which the planet tends to warm the fastest thereby acting as harbingers of what is to come. The melting of the ice in the Circle is making the Northwest Passage, the shipping routes through the northern-most latitudes, more navigable, raising the possibility that some day the Arctic region could become a prime trade route. In addition it is believed that the Arctic seabed may contain substantial oil fields which may become accessible if the ice covering them melts. These factors have led to recent international debates as to which nations can claim sovereignty or ownership over the waters north of the Circle.

The Arctic Ocean, located in the northern hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or simply the Arctic Sea, classifying it as one of the mediterranean seas of the Atlantic Ocean. Alternatively, the Arctic Ocean can be seen as the northernmost lobe of the all-encompassing World Ocean.

Almost completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America, the Arctic Ocean is largely covered by sea ice throughout the year. The Arctic Ocean's temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes[3]; its salinity is the lowest on average of the five major oceans, due to low evaporation, heavy freshwater inflow from rivers and streams, and limited connection and outflow to surrounding oceanic waters with higher salinities. The summer shrinking of the ice has been quoted at 50%.[1] The National Snow and Ice Data Center NSIDC use satellite data to provide a daily record of Arctic sea ice cover and the rate of melting compared to an average period and specific past years.

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Right whales are baleen whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Four right whale species are recognised in this genus.

Sometimes the family Balaenidae is considered to be the family of right whales. Bowhead Whale, which has its own genus, Balaena also belongs to the Balaenidae family, and so is sometimes considered a right whale. However, this article focuses on the Eubalaena species.

Right whales can grow up to 18 m (60 ft) long and weigh up to 100 tons. Their rotund bodies are mostly black, with distinctive callosities (roughened patches of skin) on their heads. They are called "right whales" because whalers thought the whales were the "right" ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. Populations were vastly reduced by intensive harvesting during the active years of the whaling industry. Today, instead of hunting them, people often watch these acrobatic whales for pleasure.

The four Balaenidae species live in distinct locations. Approximate population figures:

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Uriel Sebree
Uriel Sebree (February 20, 1848 – August 6, 1922) was a career officer in the United States Navy. He entered the Naval Academy during the Civil War and served until 1910, retiring as a rear admiral. He is best remembered for his two expeditions into the Arctic and for serving as the second acting governor of American Samoa. He was also commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet.

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1867, Sebree was posted to a number of vessels before being assigned to a rescue mission to find the remaining crew of the missing Polaris in the Navy's first mission to the Arctic. This attempt was only a partial success—the Polaris crew was rescued by a Scottish ship rather than the US Navy—but this led to Sebree's selection eleven years later for a second expedition to the Arctic. That mission to rescue Adolphus Greely and the survivors of the Lady Franklin Bay expedition was a success. Sebree was subsequently appointed as the second acting governor of American Samoa.

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Wikinews Arctic portal
  • April 25: UK announces £200 million polar research ship
  • September 4: Wikinews Shorts: September 2, 2010
  • September 3: Wikinews Shorts: September 3, 2010/Fuel tanker aground in Northwest Passage
  • June 21: Greenland assumes self rule Sunday
  • January 10: Canadian trio claim South Pole record for trans-Antarctic trip
  • December 10: Wikinews Shorts: December 10, 2008
  • October 28: Arctic ice thickness decreasing, suggests satellite data study
  • August 28: 73M-year-old fossilized fish found in Canada
  • August 27: Canadian military exercise NANOOK 2008 travels through uncharted waters
  • June 28: The North Pole may possibly be ice free by summer
Current events on Wikinews

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Grizzly Bear in autumn in Denali National Park and Preserve. .

Description: Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos horribilis in autumn in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Author: Picture taken by (c) Jean-Pierre Lavoie

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gastropod with wing-like parapodia and translucent shell

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  • Iceland, though it lies so far to the north that it is partly within the Arctic Circle, is, like Norway, Scotland, and Ireland, affected by the Gulf Stream, so that considerable portions of it are quite habitable.

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Hardangerfjord
Panoramic view of the tip of Point Barrow, Alaska.

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