The Arctic

Consisting of deep ocean covered by drifting pack ice and surrounded by continents and archipelagos around the Earth's North Pole, the Arctic is the planet's largest and least fragmented inhabited region.

Why the Arctic matters

Home to millions
Warming faster than anywhere else in the world
Global interest is growing as ice melts
Eight countries, global significance
Vast resources are becoming available

Our changing relationship with polar bears

Climate change is pushing polar bears into cities in search of food.

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Where we work

What's new


Our time to act is running out

Guest blog by: Pam Pearson, Director, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI). “We know all this already.” Over the past few years, scientists and ex-diplomats with the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative -- a science-policy network that works to bring Arctic science into the climate debate – have started hearing this phrase. When cryosphere scientists asked for a spot on the COP-26 agenda, one senior negotiator put it dismissively, “That battle has been won.”

Published 27 October 2021


The EU has developed its new Arctic Policy – why is the Arctic so important for the EU?

Last month, the EU unveiled its new Arctic Policy. Despite that only a handful of EU members are Arctic nations, the EU plays an important role in shaping the region. The Arctic Programme's Governance and Sustainable Development Lead, Jan Dusik, weighs in on why the Arctic is so important for the EU what role the Policy will play.

Published 17 November 2021

From The Circle

Let's keep it frozen

Thawing permafrost is already making things difficult for people and species in the Arctic. But as TOM ARNBOM writes, if thawing continues and causes the release of methane from the ground, the climate crisis will escalate dramatically and we will feel the effects globally.