As the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, the Alfred Wegener Institute works primarily in the cold and temperate regions of the world. Together with numerous national and international partners, we are involved in decoding the complex processes in “System Earth”. Our planet is in the midst of profound climate change. The polar regions and seas are changing. At the same time, they play a central role in the global climate system. How is planet earth evolving? Are we observing short-term fluctuations or long-term trends? Polar and marine research has always been a fascinating scientific challenge. Today it is also a piece of future research.