The Arctic is made up of deep ocean covered by drifting pack ice, surrounded by frozen continents and archipelagos at the top of the world. The polar region is crucial in keeping the world’s climate in balance, acting as a huge reflector bouncing some of the sun’s rays back into space. By this mechanism, it helps regulate global temperature. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in the circulation of cold and warm water throughout the world’s oceans. It is home to around four million people, including indigenous communities spread across eight countries – Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Greenland and the US as well as around 450 types of fish, 280 species of bird and 130 types of mammals (including the iconic Polar Bear, Narwhals and Arctic Foxes) – even cold-water coral reefs.
Climate change has led to the Arctic warming at twice the global average. The knock-on impacts of this include accelerated melting of the ice cap, rising sea levels and severe pressure on species that depend on the biome such as the Polar Bear and Ringed Seal.