Home » Teaching Resources » IPCC 2021 – Impacts of Polar Climate Change

IPCC 2021 – Impacts of Polar Climate Change


According to the IPCC report for Policymakers “Human influence is very likely the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea ice area between 1979–1988 and 2010–2019 (about 40% in September and about 10% in March). There has been no significant trend in Antarctic sea ice area from 1979 to 2020 due to regionally opposing trends and large internal variability. Human influence very likely contributed to the decrease in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover since 1950. It is very likely that human influence has contributed to the observed surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past two decades, but there is only limited evidence, with medium agreement, of human influence on the Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss.”1

The Impacts of climate change in Polar regions

Read page 2 of the polar regions fact sheet from the IPCC2.

Produce a spider diagram of all the suggested impacts that are predicted to occur in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Around those impacts suggest some of the negative consequences for humankind.

spider diagram polar climate change
impacts of polar climate change


  1. IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. P.10. Accessed 28th November 2021 at Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.ch)
  2. IPCC.ch. 2021. Regional fact sheet – Polar Regions. [online] Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/factsheets/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Regional_Fact_Sheet_Polar_regions.pdf [Accessed 28 November 2021].

Start exploring

Latest from blog

Related resources …
Secondary Geography
How do CO₂ emissions link to global temperatures?