Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
THE ARCTIC OCEAN is one of the Earth's environments that will be most affected by climate change. As the Earth continues to warm, the Arctic Ocean will evolve into an environment that is much different from what is recognized today. Most of the animals currently living there will not be able to survive if this region warms too much. In addition, warming Arctic waters could affect ocean circulation elsewhere in the world. The Arctic Ocean is unique in its physical properties. It has both the narrowest and the widest shelves on Earth due to glacial erosion, marine abrasion, and progradational elastics. It is a tectonically active region in which the closed-off basin of today developed in the Cretaceous (90 million years ago). The seafloor forming at the mid-ocean ridge in the Arctic is the slowest ridge system of any on Earth today. The Lomonosov Ridge divides the ocean in half, ...