40 million km2 of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
4 million people live within the Arctic Circle.
-40°C (-40°F) is the average winter temperature in some parts of the Arctic
8 countries are recognized as Arctic states
Consisting of deep ocean covered by drifting pack ice and surrounded by continents and archipelagos around the Earth's North Pole, the Arctic is the planet's largest and least fragmented inhabited region.
But by the end of this century, the Arctic will be a very different place. Temperatures are warming more than twice as fast as they are for the planet as a whole. Sea ice is melting. Arctic wildlife and people are beginning to live altered lives.
Where is the Arctic?
Why the Arctic matters
Home to millionsMany Arctic residents are Indigenous peoples, who have adapted to live in one of the harshest environments in the world.
Rich wildlife habitatThe Arctic is home to the polar bear, arctic fox, and walrus as well as many species of seals, whales and birds.
Vast natural resourcesThe Arctic holds enormous freshwater reserves, and fossil fuels and fisheries abound.
Threats to the Arctic
What WWF is doing
The WWF Arctic Programme has coordinated WWF's work in the Arctic since 1992. We work through offices in six Arctic countries, with experts in circumpolar issues like governance, climate change, shipping, oil and gas and polar bears.