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From our library of things you should know about the Arctic

Lawrence of Arcticia?

Did you know that the Arctic is a desert?

You might be wondering how that could possibly be when it has a whole ocean of water right in the middle of it.

The Arctic is a cold desert because it gets very little precipitation (rain or snow) - about the same amount as the Sahara - but it is so cold that the snow that does fall doesn't melt, so deep snow covers the land and ice.

As long as there is some source of moisture and some way to lift or cool the air, it can snow even at incredibly cold temperatures. However, most heavy snowfalls occur at temperatures just below freezing (15F/-10C or warmer) since warmer air can hold more water vapor.

The very cold Arctic air is not able to hold much moisture, and therefore it doesn't rain or snow very often - and that makes it a desert. So there!

Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Snow, Ice
Cold/Cold Places
Links: Arctic, Cold Places
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports

Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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