We explore the evolution of the polar regions, past climatological and environmental states, as well as the recent reaction of the Earth system on natural and anthropogenic driven climate change. Scientists from Bremerhaven, Potsdam and Sylt are investigating which processes and interactions have been crucial for the development of the polar environment from past to present. In order to achieve this, they are taking an in-depth look at the sediment structures of the oceans, at terrestrial deposits and at the polar ice caps. Research is being conducted, e.g., on the composition and spreading of marine sediments, on the substance- and energy flow in permafrost regions, and on the structure and change in the earth's crust and polar ice caps. The necessary data and samples are acquired by employing research vessels, observatories, aircrafts, and satellite systems.