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Polar oceans are facing profound changes. The Arctic Ocean and the waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula are at the forefront of global warming, while the rest of the polar oceans will face changes in the very near future. The changes to face are not limited to a raise in atmospheric temperature and modification in the freshwater budget. Increases of economic activities (shipping, tourism, fisheries and mineral extraction), contaminants and invasive species also put polar oceans at risk. Changes are already witnessed in terms of ice shelves volume, wind patterns and precipitation, sea ice extent, ocean circulation, ocean acidification and freshening, primary productivity, biodiversity and community structure or ecosystem functioning. As polar oceans are key components of the Earth system, changes there will have global impacts such as sea level rise, changes in low latitudes oceanic productivity, and oceanic CO2 uptake, among other ecosystem services.
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