Arctic Ocean

What is the temperature of the Arctic Ocean?

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December 29, 2008 8:43AM

The ocean is contained in a polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges. Winters are characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers are characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow. The temperature of the surface of the Arctic Ocean is fairly constant, near the freezing point of seawater, slightly below zero degrees Celsius. In the winter the relatively warm ocean water exerts a moderating influence, even when covered by ice. This is one reason why the Arctic does not experience the extremes of temperature seen on the Antarctic continent. There is considerable seasonal variation in how much pack ice covers the Arctic Ocean. Much of the ocean is also covered in snow for about 10 months of the year. The maximum snow cover is in March or April