Principle #6: Humans are a part of the Polar system. The Arctic has a rich cultural history and diversity of Indigenous Peoples.

  • 6B-1: Weather patterns – large dips in the jet stream can sweep cold air into lower latitudes where billions of people live.
  • 6B-2: Climate change- air and ocean temperature changes at the Poles affect people around the world through global ecosystem changes.
  • 6B-3: Food webs- loss of sea ice and a warming ocean is disrupting fisheries across the globe.
  • 6B-4:  Loss of sea ice is resulting in greater coastal erosion during winter storms.
  • 6C-1: Receding sea ice is affecting animals that depend on ice cover (fish, polar bears, walruses, seals, humans).
  • 6C-2: Species are migrating and/or declining, affecting the people who depend on those terrestrial and aquatic species for food, clothing, and other uses – and larger ecosystem implications. Importing goods to these regions is very expensive which significantly increases costs, so many Arctic residents depend on hunting and fishing for food.
  • 6C-3: Thawing permafrost is damaging homes, roads, pipelines, buildings and ecosystems.
  • 6C-4: Coastal villages in Alaska are particularly prone to the effects of coastal erosion and storm surge during winter storms.  Some entire villages are relocating.
  • 6C-5: Forest fires are on the rise in the Arctic impacting chemical and biological cycles.
  • 6D-1: Native knowledge of Polar Regions contributes to the understanding of natural ecological cycles and the impacts of climate change on the system.
  • 6D-2: Traditional knowledge has proven essential for subsistence harvesting and for sustainable management of natural resources.

Scientist Spotlight

Related Resources

  • Polar Data Stories – Interactive online actives featuring cool Polar research and data.
  • I.D. Antarctica – Photographic mysteries of Antarctic animals for students to investigate.
  • Project Swarm – A curriculum of lessons and data activities for middle and high school students featuring the influences of warming on the food web interactions between phytoplankton, krill and penguins