Question Sheet: Earth’s Poles in Peril


Before reading:

  1. This year has been deemed International Polar Year. What do you think that

    title means? What might scientists study during International Polar Year?

  2. How does global warming affect the Earth’s poles?

During reading:

  1. Why have the polar regions changed drastically?
  2. What is the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic?
  3. Exactly how have the polar ice masses changed in recent years?
  4. How will the melting of the ice masses affect the oceans and the rest of the


  5. What have scientists found using underwater robots?
  6. Can someone like you help protect the polar regions? How?

After reading:

  1. Why might a person assume that the North Pole and South Pole are more

    similar than they actually are? How could you help people remember a crucial


  2. Think up and describe two events that could be parts of International Polar


  3. Why are the affects of global warming more noticeable at the poles than in

    other parts of the world?

  4. Compare the opportunities scientists have to study things that are different

    at the North Pole than they are at the South Pole. What topic might you study in

    each region?

  5. Could the changes in the Arctic affect your life? Why or why not?
  6. Why might some people not make changes in their lives that could help stop

    climate change? Think of three things that might change their minds.


If you were going to spend a month in the Arctic and could only bring 20 items with you, what would you bring? Which item would be most important to you?


  1. Antarctica is home to a lot of unusual life. Research and write an article

    on an animal that lives in Antarctica that you don’t know much about.

  2. Design a poster that would make people more aware of the importance of

    International Polar Year.