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Useful Notes / The Arctic

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The northernmost region in the world, the Arctic is defined as the area within either the Arctic Circle or the 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) isotherm, and is known for its extreme cold temperatures and unique ecosystem. The majority of land in the Arctic consists of Tundra, a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons, as well as ice cap, a climate with no months above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) normally covered by a permanent layer of ice with no vegetation, and it is characterized by long periods of sunlight in the Summer, with sun remaining visible for 24 hours in the summer solstice and being known as the midnight sun, and almost no sunlight during the Winter, known as the polar night. Many unique species of wildlife such as the caribou/reindeer, polar bears, walrus, narwhal, lemming, arctic foxes and wolves and snowy owls have adapted to the extreme conditions, and are only found here.

In addition to the wildlife, many indigenous people groups make their home in the Arctic. These include the Eskimo-Aleut peoples of Northern America, the Sámi people of Northern Europe, and the Chukotko-Kamchatkan and Yukaghir peoples of Russia. Most of these peoples live semi-nomadic lives, with fishing, hunting, and reindeer-herding being among their most common professions. Much of their diet consists of berries, seafood, reindeer and game meats. Alongside Orthodox Christianity, Shamanism is also very popular as a religion with these peoples, with many unique cultures and mythologies sprouting from these practices.

Unfortunately, the Arctic is also under many threats. Global Warming is the chief of these, with Arctic sea ice shrinking year after year, leading to the displacement and vulnerability of much of the wildlife, and methane released by thawing permafrost exacerbating its effects. Plenty of natural resources like oil have been discovered, with countries looking to exploit them. Many of the indigenous peoples have been discriminated against by the other peoples living in their countries.

Countries and territories

Northern America

Capital: Juneau
Largest City: Anchorage
Capital: Ottawa
Largest City: Toronto
Capital & Largest City: Nuuk

Northern Europe

Capital and Largest City: Helsinki
Capital and Largest City: Reykjavik
Capital and Largest City: Oslo
Capital and Largest City: Stockholm

Eastern Europe and North Asia

Capital and Largest City: Moscow

See also