It’s interesting that there are several different definitions for where “The Arctic” begins. Let’s put Iceland to the test, and you can decide if I’m actually in the Arctic…..or not….
Definition number 1: The Arctic is defined as the area between the latitudes of 66°33′46.1″ North and 90°N where there can be 24 hours when the sun stays below, or above the horizon. Nice and simple. However, just to make this one a little bit confusing, most people round the latitude to 66.5°N . Remember, each degree of latitude or longitude can be broken into 60 smaller distance increments called minutes, and each minute of distance can be broken into 60 smaller increments called seconds. 30 minutes is equal to 0.5 degrees.
Is Iceland in the Arctic based on Arctic Definition number 1? Look at the Earth Science Reference Table-Ocean Currents diagram below.
Arctic Definition number 2: The Arctic is defined as the area north of the tree line where the flora consists of primarily lichens and shrubs.
Arctic Definition number 3: The Arctic is defined as the area in the far north whose July temperatures do not go above 10 degree’s Celsius.
Is Iceland in the Arctic based on Arctic Definitions number 2 and 3? The diagram below overlays lines for each of the three definitions we've discussed.
Ok, I'm going to add one more definition just to confuse the situation even more. The United States Congress has decreed that all of the Bering Sea, down to approximately 53 degrees North, is within the Arctic, for budgeting and planning purposes!
If you need more information to help you decide if Iceland is in the Arctic or not, I've included two links below, that go into the Arctic definitions in more detail.