Related topics: climate change · sea ice

Diurnal oxidation for manganese minerals in the Arctic Ocean

Manganese is an important element for all life, but it plays an especially critical role in photosynthesis, in which it is the catalyst for splitting oxygen molecules from water. In the ocean—where phytoplankton is a key ...

Killer whales lingering in newly melted arctic ocean

Killer whales are intelligent, adaptive predators, often teaming up to take down larger prey. Continuous reduction in sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is opening areas to increased killer whale dwelling and predation, potentially ...

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Arctic Ocean

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 partly covered by sea ice throughout the year (and almost completely in winter). The Arctic Ocean's temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes; 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%. 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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