There are numerous water bodies on earth and each has its own distinctive characteristics.Some of the most common characteristics attributed to water bodies are salinity,depth,area coverage or spread,location and temperature.Temperature is viewed in duality:cold or warm.In this context,we examine not just the cold side of it but the coldest.
The coldest ocean in the whole world is the Arctic Ocean.lt has a relatively small area of 14,070,000 square kilometers which is approximately 5,430,000 square miles,compared to the likes of the Pacific,Atlantic and Indian Oceans which command higher areas in hundreds of millions.lt has a depth of about 18,040 feet which transcends to 5,500 meters.lt however averages a depth of 3,200 feet which in meters is around 980.
Located in the North pole,this would otherwise explain why it records the lowest temperatures.The main reason behind its extreme low temperatures however,is the fact that it is covered in ice for periods of time relating to the seasons of the year.
It is presumed that the ocean was formed 65million years ego during the Cenozoic era,through the process of seafloor spreading.Similarly,it was for a long time thought to be a single gigantic basin but this was refuted by explorers who discovered that it was actually two deep basins divided into four basins by transoceanic ridges.
Several factors make the Arctic Ocean different from the rest of other oceans.Among these factors,ice coverage posses as the main factor.lce reduces the interchange of energy from the ocean to the atmospheric properties around it by 100 times.At the same time the ice reflects the sun’s rays away from the the ocean floor,denying sunshine depended organisms and processes.In addition to deterring sunshine,it prevents the mixing of winds.This cuts out on the maritime life and activities.
Water with lower salinity gets into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait.This inflow may seem to be due to the differences in the sea levels between the North pole and the ocean, but it is actually due to the wind system.The high pressure over the North pole causes wind flow to the less pressure cells towards the Arctic
Ocean.Wind currents influence the water currents leading to water movements and flow.
Precipitation accounts for the highest water loss.Evaporation occurs but it is so minimal that precipitation is about ten times greater.
The Arctic Ocean has cold waters. The waters have two layers.The top thin layer is made up of the coldest water. It is separated from the lower layer of warmer water by a strong gradient called pycnocline.The pycnocline impedes the movement of water and salt between the two water layers.Waters in the Arctic ocean are moved by wind and density difference.The movement can be observed by the drifting ice.
Finally,the conditions in and around the Arctic Ocean are seen to be changing due to the changes in the global climate and especially global warming.This may bring about dramatic changes never experienced