The polar regions span the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the high latitude areas bordering the north and south polar circles (above 60º north and below 60º south latitude). The Arctic and Antarctic together account for approximately 20% of the earth’s land surface, and both are particularly susceptible to climate change. Temperature increases are expected to be greater in the polar regions than in other regions of the planet, particularly in the northern polar region, which has already warmed at more than twice the global mean rate over the past 100 years.1 Climate-related changes in these regions will have a range of important geophysical and biophysical flow-on effects for other areas of the planet, including a slowing or shutdown of the thermohaline, releases to the atmosphere of large amounts of organic carbon trapped in permafrost, and significant impacts on the marine food chain.