Arctic Ocean

Arctic Geography Stats


  • Area > Comparative: The area of various small countries expressed in comparison to various areas within the United States of America.
  • Area > Comparative to US places: This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).
  • Area > Note: This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.
  • Area > Total: Total area in square kilometers
  • Climate: A brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year.
  • Coastline: The total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea.
  • Elevation extremes > Highest point: Highest point above sea level
  • Geographic coordinates: This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the purpose of finding the approximate geographic center of an entity and is based on the Gazetteer of Conventional Names, Third Edition, August 1988, US Board on Geographic Names and on other sources.
  • Note: This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere.
  • Location: The country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.
  • Map references: The name of the CIA World Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.
  • Natural hazards: Potential natural disasters.
  • Natural resources: A country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance.
  • Terrain: A brief description of the topography
Area > A note includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies 2003
Area > Comparative slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US 2011
Area > Comparative to US places slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US 2008
Area > Note includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies 2008
Area > Total 14.06 million sq km 2008 6th out of 247
Climate polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow 2011
Coastline 45,389 km 2011 7th out of 225
Elevation extremes > Highest point sea level 0 m 2008
Geographic coordinates 90 00 N, 0 00 E 2008
Note major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20 to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10 months 2008
Location body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle 2008
Map references Arctic Region 2011
Natural hazards ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island; icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from October to May 2008
Natural resources sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales) 2008
Terrain central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that, on average, is about 3 meters thick, although pressure ridges may be three times that thickness; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera, Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge) 2008

SOURCES: CIA World Factbook, December 2003; CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008


"Arctic Ocean Geography Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Arctic-Ocean/Geography

Arctic Ocean Geography Profiles (Subcategories)

Area 5
  • Arctic Ocean ranked #6 for area > total globally in 2008.