There are five major oceans on earth; Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern Arctic, and Arctic oceans. All those oceans are divided based on the geographical location of each ocean. One of the most interesting oceans is Arctic. Arctic ocean is located in the upper part of the earth. This ocean is also directly connected to North Pole. Unlike other oceans, Arctic ocean is not as explored as others as due to their geographical location. To know more about Arctic characteristics, read Unique Characteristics of Arctic Ocean.
Furthermore, though Arctic is not the biggest ocean, its connection with North Pole hold importance that people are not yet aware. Scholar should also be aware of the importance of this ocean especially in the unpredictable change of climate, Arctic rises with one that shows sign of it. Thus, what are the importances of Arctic ocean? Here are 30 lists of them.
1. Barometer of Global Warming
The northern Arctic is a land of glacier. The frozen ices cover the surface of the sea due to the low temperature of it. Those glaciers are interconnected with North Pole. As the current glaciers in Arctic ocean are melting now, it is a sign of global warming ocean levels. The melted glaciers are then return to Arctic as sea water instead of ice.
This ice-melting phenomenon in the Arctic is important sign of global warming. Global warming itself is a condition of rising temperature because heated gas is trapped within the earth, causing several anomalies in the climate. The melting glacier proofs that global warming is happening and people should be aware of it.
2. Axis of Economical Growth
Countries in the northern Arctic depend on the Arctic as the passage way to get to other countries. Because of the existence of ices, some countries are separated by them and find a difficult way to travel across countries. As a result, the separation hinders the economical exchange between countries.
The water part of Arctic is important as it becomes the only way to connect to another country. Especially when the glacier melts, people will have it easy to travel through the sea without worried about the frozen ice. This only happens during the warm day when some of the ices melted away.
3. The Ice Reflects Sunlight
Aside from the fact that the northern part of the earth is cold because of its position makes it gets less exposed to sunlight, the Arctic ocean helps to maintain the earth temperature as its ice reflect back the sunlight. The ice in Arctic ocean is usually white and when the sun rays light on it, it reflect back the ray. As a result, the heat escapes back to the atmosphere instead of trapped on earth.
However, as global warming is starting to occupy the whole climate of the earth, there are less ice to reflect the sunlight back. This can be a sign if ice melts in significant speed to show how severe the global warming is happening onto the earth.
4. Influences Currents of Ocean
The Arctic ocean plays important role in regulating the ocean currents. Current is influenced by the wind and its direction will change if the temperature of certain place differs from its usual pattern. The Arctic blows out cold wind that will meet the hot and warm wind from Atlantic and Pacific ocean.
It is also part of global conveyor belt in creating thermohaline circulation. This type of circulation occurs on under water where temperatures of wind from across oceans are meeting and create a pattern of current or wave. Therefore, Arctic ocean plays important role in influencing the current of the whole ocean on earth.
5. Keeps Methane at Bay
Another aspect that proves the importance of Arctic ocean is its ability to keeps the methane at bay. The organisms in Arctic ocean are producing methane but it is restrained by the ices in Arctic ocean to release to the air. While direct release of it can be harmful to environment, a broken ice is also under suspicion for reeking methane itself.
Study found the crack in the ice reeks of methane and there is no definite proof why it occurs. The nearest prediction is because some organisms living directly under the ice produce the methane since there is no explanation if ice can produce methane. Nonetheless, this phenomenon is exclusive to Arctic and it is what marks the importance of this ocean.
6. Limits Extreme Weather
While the melting of glacier as a result of global warming causes many possibilities of extreme weather, surprisingly, Arctic ocean extreme weather lose itself in the very water body of Arctic. The swatch of ice mostly blocks the moisture that moves up to atmosphere and dwindle the wind to develop storm in sea. Hence, many of the developed storms do not reach other ocean or to mainland.
This is why when global warming threatens the existence of ices in Arctic causes another concern of possible and more frequent severe weather in the future. This is mainly due to many ice blocks melt and join the sea water instead. If this occurs, a more severe climate may hit the mainland and endanger the population. Thus, it is important to preserve the ice in Arctic ocean.
7. Home of North Pole Species
The icy cold Arctic in North Pole is an ideal place for some organisms. Some organisms like sea lion, polar bear, and certain kind of fish can only live in cool temperature. Therefore, it helps them to roam around in a habitat that is suited to their body. The ecosystem in Arctic ocean is different from any other ocean.
Arctic is located in the upper coordinate that is far from the equator line. On the far end of north line, the sun seldom shines to this place, thus making the ecosystem quite different from tropical or subtropical one. Arctic plays important role as being the habitat as well as source of food for the exclusive organisms living in North Pole. Otherwise, they will not survive in other oceans.
8. Influence Air Circulation
The air in the world travels across the ocean, resulting in various ocean phenomena such as wave, storm, cyclone, typhoon, or hurricane. It also come across with the Arctic ocean. The wind in Arctic ocean is different from the wind coming from other oceans. While the wind from Atlantic tend to be warm and humid, the wind in Arctic is cool and frosty.
When two winds meet, the Arctic wind will influence the other winds they meet. The hot air will be cooled down. With greater speed and force, a certain storm may form depend on the velocity of each wind. The only ocean that blows cool air due to the existence of ice is Arctic. Thus, it marks the importance of Arctic ocean. (Related to Effects of Ocean Currents on Coastline).
9. Supports The Native
In the northern part of the earth, lives a community that is used in living in the climactic area. They are commonly known as Eskimo people. The Eskimo adapts to the climate of the North Pole and depends their lives by utilizing the geographical supports North Pole offers. This includes Arctic ocean as well. The people catch fish and other necessary food supply in the Arctic ocean.
They also utilize the ice as their homes as well as the household needs. Pretty much the Eskimos live in accordance with the nature and Arctic ocean supports it with any source it has. It means Arctic ocean is important to support the life of Eskimos.
10. Contribute to The Formation Atlantic Deep Water
The Arctic is important in the formation of Atlantic Deep Water. The Arctic Bottom Water outflow helps to regulate the global climate as well as the deep water in Atlantic ocean. As the water overtunes, the climate and global weather are also affected. It either helps to cool down the deep water in other ocean or change the direction of the wind.
Arctic ocean also the one that contributes to the sea levels the most after the gravitation pull of the moon. As the glacier keeps melting, the melted ice becomes freshwater that flows to the other ocean, rising the sea level to the usual one because of the addition of volume.
Other Importance of Arctic Ocean
- Affects The Salinity of Other Oceans
- Separates Some Countries from non-Arctic Phenomenon
- Has Heat Shield on The Surface Level
- The Exits of Pacific and Atlantic Water Flow
- Facilitating Sea Export to Other Ocean
- Subject to Meteorological Condition
- Global Temperature Cooler
- Creates Cyclonic Ocean
- Can Pose Hazard of Iceberg
- Acts as The Most Ocean with Constant Temperature
- Home of Endangered Species
- Home of Phytoplankton
- Source of Petroleum
- Source of Polymetallic Nodules
- Fields of Natural Gas
- Creates Political Dead Zone
- Has Undiscovered Fuel Resource
- Influence Average Planet’s Albedo
- Contain Radioactive Contamination
- Source of Ice Pack
Arctic ocean may be the shallowest ocean out of five, but it holds importance that only it and none other ocean possess. Almost all global natural occurrences are influenced by Arctic. As ice in Arctic melts faster, it is a sign of possible drastic change to the earth and everyone should be aware of it. Indeed, there are 30 importance of the Arctic ocean we should know.