About polar research

What is polar research?

Polar research comprises all research carried out in, or concerning, mainly the Arctic and Antarctica, although researchers are also keenly interested in the sub-polar regions and the Swedish mountain areas. This means that, in principle, polar research comprises every scientific discipline – from natural sciences to social sciences.

Why do we conduct research in the polar regions?

The direct impacts of human activities in the polar regions are relatively small and nature is often very well preserved here. Nevertheless, many toxic emissions produced elsewhere on the planet will still end up in the polar regions.

Climate change is faster and more severe in the Arctic than in other regions, due to air and water currents and various feedbacks in the global system. Samples taken in the polar regions and scientific assessments may also apply to other parts of the planet.

Scientists can, for example, take ice cores or sediment cores. Analysing of these samples can show how the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Using this knowledge, scientists can try to make predictions about the climate in the future.

Who is affected by polar research?

Polar research is often related to global issues including climate change and the environment, and thereby concerns all life on Earth.

Last modified: 9 May 2017