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Arctic Ocean Phenomena – Tuesday 2/14/23

The Arctic is a vast, empty place where hardly anything grows and where it is frozen for a majority of the year. Several countries border the Arctic Ocean. This includes the USA (Alaska), Canada, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. These areas are subject to harsh climates in the winter and cool climates in the summer.

In the winter time, average temperatures are around -40 degrees. This can produce wind chills in the -50 to -60 range. In the summer time, average temperatures around 50 degrees. Due to their latitude and temperatures, virtually nothing grows here. The plants that can survive this climate are only a couple inches tall.

These cold temperatures lead us to consider a plant out of snow and ice. This “plant” is called a frost flower. These flowers can be found around the Arctic. They will collect various microorganisms and minerals from the frozen ocean. This leads to many flowers to grow, which causes clumps of these to form in small areas. They will migrate across a vast area, and lead to more of these flower fields.

Frost flowers in the central Arctic Ocean.
Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2012/12/17/167469845/suddenly-theres-a-meadow-in-the-ocean-with-flowers-everywhere

For more information on these Arctic “plants”, refer to the websites below.

https://interestingengineering.com/science/15-unusual-weather-phenomena-that-are-hard-to-come-across

https://www.livescience.com/31858-frost-flowers-arctic-ocean.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_flower_(sea_ice)#:~:text=Frost%20flowers%20are%20ice%20crystals,3%E2%80%934%20cm%20in%20diameter

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