The Arctic Is Heating Up

North of the Arctic Circle, our planet is covered by an implacable frozen mass—a sea, as it turns out—that humans have long struggled to explore, understand, and ultimately subdue. From our pursuit of the Arctic’s unique animals to our attempts to sail its icy passages to our obsessive quest to reach its desolate pole, we have found the Arctic irresistible and unyielding. Until now. Scientists say that by the middle of this century, rising temperatures could strip away the Arctic’s fortress-like ice each summer, unlocking resources and shipping lanes while increasing political tensions, affecting people and animals, and potentially speeding up climate change. We sent writers and photographers to document how this enigmatic region is changing, who and what will feel the impact, and why it matters.

The melting Arctic is now open for business
The melting Arctic is now open for business
A thawing Arctic is heating up a new Cold War
A thawing Arctic is heating up a new Cold War
See which nations are claiming parts of the melting Arctic
See which nations are claiming parts of the melting Arctic
Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.
Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.
See how Arctic permafrost thaws and the damage it does
See how Arctic permafrost thaws and the damage it does
In 1845 explorers sought the Northwest Passage—then vanished
In 1845 explorers sought the Northwest Passage—then vanished
At this Arctic science base, life is anything but lonely
At this Arctic science base, life is anything but lonely
Inside the harsh lives of wolves living at the top of the world
Inside the harsh lives of wolves living at the top of the world
As ice melts, the Inuit strive to keep their culture alive
As ice melts, the Inuit strive to keep their culture alive

From the editor

Fast-melting Arctic ice poses many threats—not all what you’d expect

In special coverage, National Geographic explores the consequences of the Arctic warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

Embark
Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings
Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings
See our favorite scientific breakthroughs this month
See our favorite scientific breakthroughs this month
Researchers are turning to Twitter to track immigrant migration
Researchers are turning to Twitter to track immigrant migration
This chemist is preserving art—before it’s too late
This chemist is preserving art—before it’s too late
Explore
The ‘king of birds’ dresses the part when pursuing a mate
The ‘king of birds’ dresses the part when pursuing a mate
How Bach’s anatomy may have handed him greatness
How Bach’s anatomy may have handed him greatness
How this ‘camera car’ captured the perfect tiger close-up
How this ‘camera car’ captured the perfect tiger close-up
‘This photograph was the hardest I’ve ever had to make’
‘This photograph was the hardest I’ve ever had to make’

Watch This

Watch Arctic wolf pups on first family outing, in rare footage
In this exclusive footage, photographer Ronan Donovan shows pack dynamics among white wolf packs on an Arctic island.

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Artist, Provocateur, Rogue, Genius, Picasso.

Black and White

Through an Astronaut's Eyes

A World on the Move

The Moon and Beyond

The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism

We are Not Alone

The Ultimate Climb

The Future of Medicine

The Search for the Sacred Texts

Battle for the American West

Last Tribes of the Amazon

The Story of a Face

The Science of Sleep

Building a Better Athlete

Planet or Plastic?

Artist, Provocateur, Rogue, Genius, Picasso.

Black and White

Through an Astronaut's Eyes

A World on the Move

The Moon and Beyond

The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism

We are Not Alone

The Ultimate Climb

The Future of Medicine

The Search for the Sacred Texts

Battle for the American West

Last Tribes of the Amazon

The Story of a Face

The Science of Sleep

Building a Better Athlete

Planet or Plastic?

Artist, Provocateur, Rogue, Genius, Picasso.

Black and White

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