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July 24, 2019. Life / Islands

Arctic Islands

Nicholas D. Holmes, Olivier Langrand, Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. Rylands, Thomas Brooks, Dena R. Spatz, James C. Russell, Wes Sechrest, Federico Mendez Sanchez

From the Greek word Arktikós, the word “Arctic” means “the land of the North.” It relates to Arktos, the Great Bear—the star constellation close to the Pole Star. The Arctic is where the sun does not set on the summer solstice and does not rise on the winter solstice.

The Arctic Ocean covers approximately 10 million square kilometers, with thousands of islands scattered throughout. These islands are fragments of continental masses from North America, Europe, and Asia. Snow and ice are a major feature of Arctic Islands, and only a few are inhabited by people year-round.

The Arctic is home to the largest island on the planet, Greenland with a land area of 2,166,086 km2 (including other offshore minor islands). Eighty percent of the island is covered by the Greenland ice sheet.


This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book “Islands” (2018)

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