Oceans are vast bodies of water that cover 71% of the earth’s surface. There are five oceans in the world, namely the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Each of these oceans is unique in terms of its physical characteristics, location, climate, and importance. In this article, we will explore which ocean lies completely in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Five Oceans of the World
Before we delve into which ocean lies completely in the Northern Hemisphere, let us first briefly understand the five oceans of the world. The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean and lies between the Americas to the west and Europe and Africa to the east. The Indian Ocean is the third-largest ocean and lies between Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Indian Ocean islands. The Southern Ocean lies around Antarctica and is the smallest of the five oceans. The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean and extends from the Antarctic to the Arctic regions, and from Asia and Australia to the Americas. Lastly, the Arctic Ocean lies around the North Pole and is the smallest and shallowest of the five oceans.
The Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the earth that lies north of the equator. It includes North America, Europe, Asia, and most of Africa. The Northern Hemisphere is also home to the Arctic Ocean, which is the only ocean that lies completely in this hemisphere.
The Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest ocean among the five oceans. It lies around the North Pole and is surrounded by land masses such as North America, Europe, and Asia. It is also connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
Location of the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean covers an area of approximately 14.05 million square kilometers. It is located in the Northern Hemisphere, surrounded by the Arctic region of Eurasia and North America. Its southern boundary is marked by the Arctic Circle, while its northern boundary is the North Pole.
Borders of the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is bordered by several countries such as Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and the United States. The surrounding landmasses and islands include Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, and the New Siberian Islands.
Physical Characteristics of the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is known for its unique physical characteristics. It is the only ocean that is covered with ice throughout the year. The ice is thickest in the central Arctic Ocean and thins towards the edges. The ocean is also shallower than the other oceans and has an average depth of around 1,038 meters.
Climate and Weather Patterns in the Arctic Ocean
The climate and weather patterns in the Arctic Ocean are heavily influenced by the location of the ocean and the surrounding landmasses. The ocean experiences long periods of darkness during the winter months and long periods of daylight during the summer months. The temperature of the water is below freezing point, and the air temperature can drop as low as -60°C during the winter months.
Importance of the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean plays a crucial role in regulating the global climate. The ocean is responsible for the formation of cold ocean currents that circulate around the world, affecting weather patterns and ocean currents. It is also home to a diverse range of marine life, including whales, walruses, seals, and polar bears.
Threats to the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is facing several threats due to climate change and human activities. The melting of the ice has led to rising sea levels, which could have severe consequences for the world’s coastal regions. The ocean is also facing pollution from oil and gas exploration, shipping, and fishing activities.
In conclusion, the Arctic Ocean is the only ocean that lies completely in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a unique ocean with distinct physical characteristics and plays a crucial role in regulating the global climate. However, it is facing several threats due to climate change and human activities, which could have severe consequences in the future.
- National Geographic Society. (2021). Arctic Ocean. National Geographic Society.
- NOAA. (2021). What are the five oceans? NOAA. https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/5oceans.html
- WWF. (2021). Arctic Ocean. WWF.