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The polar regions are the ‘canary in the coal mine’ of climate change: they are likely to be hit the hardest and fastest. This comprehensive textbook provides an accessible introduction to the scientific study of polar environments against a backdrop of climate change and the wider global environment. The book assembles diverse information on polar environmental characteristics in terrestrial and oceanic domains, and describes the ongoing changes in climate, the oceans, and components of the cryosphere. Recent significant changes in the polar region caused by global warming are explored: shrinking Arctic sea ice, thawing permafrost, accelerating loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets, and rising ocean temperatures. These rapidly changing conditions are discussed in the context of the paleoclimatic history of the polar regions from the Eocene to the Anthropocene. Future projections for these regions during the twenty-first century are discussed. The text is illustrated with many color figures and tables, and includes further reading lists, review questions for each chapter, and a glossary.