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

    miles from Arctic to nearest Coast Guard station in the event of oil spill or shipping accident

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