The Polar Regions

Background, overviews and illustrations on the regions themselves and on the diversity of issues that they face.

Download in PDF format [89 MB]
Download in PNG format [2.6 MB]
Download in JPEG format [0.6 MB]
View on Scribd

Norwegian (bokmål)
Download in PDF format [89 MB]
Download in PNG format [2.8 MB]
Download in JPEG format [0.5 MB]
View on Scribd

Maps & graphics in this poster:
Please see each illustration for full references, credit, reference instruction, download of files and feedback form.

The polar regions are the most northerly and southerly areas of the globe – the Arctic and Antarctica. Both polar regions have low temperatures, long winters with little daylight, and short summers with long days. Snow covers large expanses, sometimes year-round, and vast ice sheets bury the entire Antarctic continent, as well as most of Greenland in the Arctic. The seas are partly covered by sea ice, with more ice in winter.

Of all the world, the polar regions experience the lowest impact from human activities. They have thriving wildlife populations, and the long days of summer attract visitors in the form of migrating birds and whales.

The Poster Series

The posters address the question: "Why, and how, are the polar regions and polar research important to all people on Earth?" These posters present and illustrate a broad sample of polar issues and facts -- they are a "textbook" for your wall.

There are five posters, with high-school age students as the main target group. Each poster stands on its own but is recognizable as part of the series through the common design and elements. All the posters include illustrations and text highlighting the human dimension of the poster theme -- showing how people are affected by polar science and issues and why they should care. The lifespan of the content is not limited to the IPY period (March 2007 - March 2009) -- we hope that these posters will be useful and used beyond this period.

This poster is ready to print and can be downloaded for free and unrestricted use.


Concept, text and editing
Heather Main and Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal

Maps and charts
Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal and others (please see respective map for full details).

Photo credits
From top right, clockwise:

  • Donald LeRoi, National Science Foundation
  • Melissa Rider, National Science Foundation
  • Simon Coggins
  • Ethan Dicks, National Science Foundation
  • Gita Laidler, Straightupnorth.ca
  • iStockphoto

To find out more about the issues presented in this poster, a few suggested links: