Arctic Circle

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Arctic Circle
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{{short description|Boundary of the Arctic}}{{About|one of the five major circles of latitude}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2018}}File:Arctic circle.svg|thumb|300px|Map of the Arctic, with the Arctic Circle in blue and the July 10 Â°C mean isothermisothermThe Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circles and the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth. It marks the northernmost point at which the centre of the noon sun is just visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point at which the centre of the midnight sun is just visible on the June solstice.BOOK, Burn, Chris, The Polar Night,weblink The Aurora Research Institute, 28 September 2015, NB: This refers to the true geometric centre which actually appears higher in the sky because of refraction by the atmosphere. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone.As seen from the Arctic, the Sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore visible at midnight) and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year (and therefore not visible at noon). This is also true in the Antarctic region, south of the equivalent Antarctic Circle.The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed and currently runs {{circle of latitude|polar}} north of the Equator.WEB,weblink Obliquity of the Ecliptic (Eps Mean),, 13 May 2014, Its latitude depends on the Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a margin of more than 2° over a 41,000-year period, due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon.JOURNAL, Berger, A. L., 1976, Obliquity and Precession for the Last 5000000 Years, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 51, 127–135, 1976A&A....51..127B, Consequently, the Arctic Circle is currently drifting northwards at a speed of about {{convert|15|m|abbr=on}} per year.


The word arctic comes from the Greek word ἀρκτικός (arktikos: "near the Bear, northern")WEB, Henry Liddell, Henry, Liddell, Robert Scott (philologist), Robert, Scott,weblink Arktikos, A Greek–English Lexicon, Perseus Project, Perseus Digital Library, and that from the word ἄρκτος (arktos: "bear").WEB, Henry, Liddell, Robert, Scott,weblink Arktos, A Greek–English Lexicon, Perseus Digital Library,

Midnight sun and polar night

(File:axial_tilt_vs_tropical_and_polar_circles.svg|thumb|400px|Relationship of Earth's axial tilt (ε) to the tropical and polar circles){{Further|Midnight sun|Polar night}}The Arctic Circle is the southernmost latitude in the Northern Hemisphere at which the centre of the sun can remain continuously above or below the horizon for twenty-four hours; as a result, at least once each year at any location within the Arctic Circle the sun is visible at local midnight, and at least once the centre is not visible at local noon.BOOK, Burn, Chris, The Polar Night,weblink The Aurora Research Institute, 28 September 2015, Directly on the Arctic Circle these events occur, in principle, exactly once per year: at the June and December solstices, respectively. However, because of atmospheric refraction and mirages, and also because the sun appears as a disk and not a point, part of the midnight sun may be seen on the night of the northern summer solstice up to about 50 minutes (′) ({{convert|90|km|abbr=on}}) south of the Arctic Circle; similarly, on the day of the northern winter solstice, part of the sun may be seen up to about 50′ north of the Arctic Circle. That is true at

Human habitation

missing image!
- World map with arctic circle.svg">thumb|400px|Cylindrical projection showing the Arctic Circle in red{{Further|Circumpolar peoples}}Only four million people live north of the Arctic Circle due to the climate; nonetheless, some areas have been settled for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, who today make up 10% of the region's population.WEB,weblink Arctic Population,, Tens of thousands of years ago, waves of people migrated from eastern Siberia across the Bering Strait into North America to settle.The largest communities north of the Arctic Circle are situated in Russia, Norway, and Sweden: Murmansk (population 295,374), Norilsk (178,018), Tromsø (75,638), Vorkuta (58,133), and Kiruna (16,936). Rovaniemi (62,667) in Finland is the largest settlement in the immediate vicinity of the Arctic Circle, lying {{convert|6|km|0|abbr=on}} south of the line.In contrast, the largest North American community north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut (Greenland), has approximately 5,000 inhabitants. Of the Arctic communities in Canada and the United States, Utqiagvik, Alaska is the largest settlement with about 4,000 inhabitants.


{{GeoGroupTemplate}}The Arctic Circle is roughly {{Convert|16000|km|abbr=on}} long.BOOK, Nuttall, Mark, Encyclopedia of the Arctic Volumes 1, 2 and 3, 2004, Routledge, 978-1579584368, 115,weblink 26 July 2016, The area north of the Circle is about {{Convert|20000000|km2|abbr=on}} and covers roughly 4% of Earth's surface.BOOK, William M., Marsh, Martin M., Kaufman, Physical Geography: Great Systems and Global Environments,weblink 2012, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-76428-5, 24, The Arctic Circle passes through the Arctic Ocean, the Scandinavian Peninsula, North Asia, Northern America, and Greenland. The land within the Arctic Circle is divided among eight countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut), Denmark (Greenland), and Iceland (where it passes through the small offshore island of Grímsey).


{{Further|Climate of the Arctic}}The climate inside the Arctic Circle is generally cold, but the coastal areas of Norway have a generally mild climate as a result of the Gulf Stream, which makes the ports of northern Norway and northwest Russia ice-free all year long. In the interior, summers can be quite warm, while winters are extremely cold. For example, summer temperatures in Norilsk, Russia will sometimes reach as high as {{convert|30|C}}, while the winter temperatures frequently fall below {{convert|-50|C}}.

Sites along the Arctic Circle

Starting at the prime meridian and heading eastwards, the Arctic Circle passes through:{| cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 valign=top|{| class="wikitable plainrowheaders"! scope="col" style="width:125px;"| Co-ordinates! scope="col" | Country, territory, or ocean! scope="col" | Notes
{{nowrap66N0type:waterbody_scale:10000000|name=Prime Meridian}} }}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Norwegian Sea
66N3type:country_region:NO|name=Nordland County, Norway}}! scope="row" | {{NOR}}Træna, Nordland>Nordland County
{{Coord3412Ename=Norwegian Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Trænfjorden, Norwegian Sea
66N29type:country_region:NO|name=Nordland County, Norway}}! scope="row" | {{NOR}}Lurøy>Nesøya, Nordland County
{{Coord3412Ename=Norwegian Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Nesøyfjorden, Norwegian Sea
66N49type:country_region:NO|name=Nordland County, Norway}}! scope="row" | {{NOR}}Rødøy>Storseløya, Nordland County
{{Coord3412Ename=Norwegian Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Kvarøyfjorden, Norwegian Sea
66N57type:country_region:NO|name=Nordland County, Norway}}! scope="row" | {{NOR}}Rødøy>Rangsundøya, Nordland County
{{Coord3413Ename=Norwegian Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Værangfjorden, Norwegian Sea
66N12type:country_region:NO|name=Nordland County, Norway}}! scope="row" | {{NOR}}Nordland>Nordland County
66N33type:country_region:SE|name=Norrbotten County, Sweden}}! scope="row" | {{SWE}}Norrbotten County (Provinces of Lapland (Sweden)>Lapland and Norrbotten)
66N51type:country_region:FI|name=Lapland Province, Finland}}! scope="row" | {{FIN}}Lapland (Finland)>Lapland Region, crosses Rovaniemi Airport
66N28type:country_region:RU|name=Karelia, Russia}}! scope="row" rowspan="4" | {{RUS}}| Republic of Karelia
66N36type:country_region:RU|name=Murmansk, Russia}}| Murmansk Oblast
66N37type:country_region:RU|name=Karelia, Russia}}| Republic of Karelia
66N10type:country_region:RU|name=Murmansk, Russia}}| Grand Island, Murmansk Oblast
{{Coord3433Ename=Kandalaksha Gulf, White Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Kandalaksha Gulf, White Sea, Barents Sea
66N28type:country_region:RU|name=Murmansk Oblast, Russia}}! scope="row" | {{RUS}}Kola Peninsula, Murmansk Oblast — for about {{convert>7abbr=on}}
{{Coord3434Ename=Kandalaksha Gulf, White Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Kandalaksha Gulf, White Sea, Barents Sea
66N0type:country_region:RU|name=Murmansk Oblast, Kola Peninsula, Russia}}! scope="row" | {{RUS}}| Kola Peninsula, Murmansk Oblast
{{Coord3440Ename=White Sea}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean White Sea, Barents Sea
66N23type:country_region:RU|name=Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia}}! scope="row" rowspan="3"| {{RUS}}| Nenets Autonomous Okrug
66N51type:country_region:RU|name=Komi Republic, Russia}}| Komi Republic
66N48type:country_region:RU|name=Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia}}| Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
{{Coord3471Ename=Gulf of Ob}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Gulf of Ob, Kara Sea
66N27type:country_region:RU|name=Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia}}! scope="row" rowspan="4" | {{RUS}}| Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
66N3type:country_region:RU|name=Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia}}| Krasnoyarsk Krai
66N18type:country_region:RU|name=Sakha Republic, Russia}}| Sakha Republic
66N38type:country_region:RU|name=Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia}}| Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
{{Coord34171Wname=Chukchi Sea, Arctic Ocean}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Chukchi Sea
66N38type:country_region:US-AK|name=Seward Peninsula, Alaska, United States}}! scope="row" | {{USA}}| Seward Peninsula, Alaska
{{Coord34163Wname=Kotzebue Sound, Arctic Ocean}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Kotzebue Sound, Chukchi Sea
66N56type:country_region:US-AK|name=Alaska, United States}}! scope="row" | {{USA}}| Alaska—passing through Selawik Lake
66N0type:country_region:CA|name=Yukon, Canada}}! scope="row" rowspan="3" | {{CAN}}| Yukon
66N36type:country_region:CA-NT|name=Northwest Territories, Canada}}| Northwest Territories, passing through Great Bear Lake
66N56type:country_region:CA-NU|name=Nunavut, Canada}}| Nunavut
{{Coord3482Wname=Foxe Basin, Hudson Bay}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Arctic Ocean Foxe Basin
66N25type:country_region:CA-NU|name=Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada}}! scope="row" | {{CAN}}| Nunavut (Baffin Island), passing through Nettilling Lake and Auyuittuq National Park (sign location)
{{Coord3461Wname=Davis Strait, Atlantic Ocean}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" | Atlantic Ocean Davis Strait
66N16type:country_region:GL|name=Greenland}}! scope="row" | {{GRL}} | passing through Kangerlussuaq Fjord and Schweizerland
{{Coord3434Wname=Denmark Strait, Atlantic Ocean}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" rowspan="2"| Atlantic Ocean Denmark Strait
{{Coord3426Wname=Greenland Sea}} Greenland Sea
66N1type:country_region:IS|name=Grímsey, Iceland}}! scope="row" | {{ISL}}| Island of Grímsey
{{Coord3417Wname=Greenland Sea, Atlantic Ocean}}! scope="row" style="background:#b0e0e6;" rowspan="2" | Atlantic Ocean Greenland Sea
{{Coord3412Wname=Norwegian Sea}} Norwegian Sea
thumb|A sign along the Dalton HighwayDalton Highway66 33 arctic circle.jpg
File:Northern lights at the Arctic Circle.jpg|thumb|Aurora Borealis above Arctic Circle sign along the Dempster Highway in (Yukon]] at {{coord|66|33|55|N|136|18|26|W|type:landmark_region:CA-YT|name=Arctic Circle sign}})File:201006 norway polar-circle.JPG|A sign on Vikingen island marking the Arctic Circle in|The Arctic Circle on Grímsey in IcelandFile:Polarkreis inlandsbanan.jpg|Arctic Circle sign by the Inland Line railway, SwedenFile:Полярный_круг, Россия.jpg|The Arctic Circle in the Republic of Karelia, RussiaFile:Россия, ЯНАО, Полярный круг..JPG|Arctic Circle sign by the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, RussiaFile:Круиз Якутск - Ленские столбы - Тикси - Якутск, 2017 (364).jpg|A sign in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia

See also

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External links

{{commons category|Arctic Circle}}{{Wiktionary}} {{Arctic topics}}{{geographical coordinates}}

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