Scientific and public awareness of the importance of the polar regions in the global weather and climate system is increasing. The popular use of the term “polar vortex” in the United States of America earlier this year is just one example of increased interest in rapid climate changes at high latitudes. The WMO annual reports on summer Arctic ice cover catch worldwide media attention every year. There is a high level of public interest – especially amongst youth – about how these factors might affect the weather and climate in the rest of the world. The expansion of human activities into the polar regions is also increasing the demand for more information and better predictions.