The Arctic

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The Arctic

Antarctica is centered at the Earth's south pole, and so receives very little sunlight. Much of the sunlight it does receive is reflected back to outer space since most of the continent is covered with snow and ice, which further cools the continent. As a result, Antarctica is the coldest place on earth. It also "manufactures" cold air masses, which are continuously flowing off the Antarctic ice cap, sometimes producing winds in excess of 100 mph. All of this cold air leaving Antarctica must be replaced, however, and so warm air flows from the relatively warmer ocean waters surrounding the continent over the ice cap, warming it and depositing new snow. As snow continues to fall on the continent over the years, the ice cap slowly flows toward the sea, creating ice shelves that ring the continent. These ice shelves last so long that the are individually named, but eventually they must break off and float out to sea, so that they can be replaced by the newer ice flowing from the continent's interior. Because the ice shelves last for centuries, it is not really known how exactly long they typically last before finally breaking off.

When weather outside gets unusually cold, people sometimes say that the weather is in the Arctic. Sometimes that is true, because the weather and climate in the Arctic can also have a strong effect on atmospheric conditions in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, both for short-term weather and long-term climate. Weather and climate in the far north are very different than weather in the middle latitudes, where most people live, but it is not always bitterly cold.

A number of different types of animals make their home in the arctic, including polar bears, wolverines, squirrels, birds, walrus and seals.The Arctic region is home to the North Pole.The Arctic has a number of natural resources, including fish, oil, gas and various minerals.

The word "Arctic" brings to mind frozen ocean waters and barren tundra. It is a harsh landscape that attracts explorers and adventurers. In the winter, most of the Arctic is hidden away under snow and ice. Sea ice expands to cover the entire Arctic Ocean, and the Arctic lands—northern North America, Eurasia, and Greenland, gain a blanket of snow. In the summer, the sea ice retreats to the Central Arctic, opening channels and coastlines to open water. On land, the snow melts to expose tundra, which blooms with lichens, shrubs, and grasses.

Arctic Willow The Arctic willow is a dwarf shrub which grows close to the ground to avoid the cold wind. The Arctic willow has adapted to the permafrost by growing shallow roots. The Arctic Willow spreads out covering the ground like a carpet. Inuit call it the tongue plant because of the shape of its leaves.

Arctic Poppy. The beautiful Arctic poppy grows in many places, even among rocks. The flower is made up of four petals formed into a cup shape. The stems are hairy and 10 to 15 cm high with a single flower on each stem. Another Adaption is that the flower heads move to face the sun and soak up the heat of the sun.

CottonGrass Cottongrass gets its name from the flowers which are like white puffy balls of cotton. This plant is food for migrating snow geese. Caribou calves that eat cottongrass are healthy and grow quickly.The plants help the enviroment.Some of the animals eat the plants.The plants are good to the enviroment and animals there.


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