The Arctic Ocean is one the most pristine marine regions on the planet. It includes Baffin Bay in Canada and the Beaufort Sea in the United States and Canada. In the Arctic Ocean, there is a burst of plankton growth in spring that helps sustain all living things in the region for much of the rest of the year. The Arctic’s sea ice creates an ecosystem with many species found nowhere else on earth. The ice also reflects sunlight, which helps regulate global temperatures. But the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, altering both human communities and natural systems.
By the numbers
800,000 years in which there has been at least some sea ice in the Arctic Ocean year round.
4 million people call the Arctic region home
950 miles from Arctic to nearest Coast Guard station in the event of oil spill or shipping accident
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At an early December meeting in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, officials from 10 Arctic and non-Arctic countries continued discussions on a binding international accord to protect the 1.1 million-square-mile Central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing as climate change melts the permanent ice cap. Once finalized, the agreement is expected to prevent commercial fishing in these waters until scientific... Read More
The Pew Charitable Trusts commends today’s action by President Barack Obama to protect federal waters in the northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait off the west coast of Alaska. Read More
On Dec. 9, 2016, President Barack Obama issued an executive order designating the globally significant U.S. northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region as the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. Learn more about the communities and wildlife in this special place, the stresses and climate change impacts they face, and how strong leadership from regional tribes led to today’s action. Read More