About the Arctic


The Arctic is the area around the Earth's North Pole. The Arctic includes parts of Russia, Alaska (United States), Canada, Greenland (a territory of Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, as well as the Arctic Ocean.

The Arctic is mostly a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless, frozen ground. It teems with life, including organisms living in the ice, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals and human societies.

The Arctic region is by its nature a unique area. The cultures in the region and the Arctic indigenous peoples (e.g. the Nenets, Koms, Khants and Sami) have adapted to its cold and extreme conditions. They practice subsistence livelihoods such as reindeer husbandry and fishing, and whose rights are many times in jeopardy due to 'development'.

From the perspective of the physical, chemical and biological balance in the world, the Arctic region is in a key position. It reacts sensitively particularly to changes in the climate, which reflect extensively back on the global state of the environment. From the perspective of research into climatic change, the Arctic region is considered an early warning system.

The Arctic is also known as the Land of the Midnight Sun as it is within the Arctic Circle.