The very heart of global climate system

The Arctic and Antarctic are the most precious and vulnerable wilderness sanctuaries on Earth. These iconic territories contain millions of square kilometers of uniquely pure marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are the world's last remaining untouched areas, and their importance in the planet's climate balance is crucial.

Arctic polar bear
Play Sounds
Antarctic humpback whale
20 327 000 km²
The surface of Antarctica
13 million
Tonnes of krill in the Antarctique. In the past 30 years, 80% of its population disappeared

A critical need to preserve these unique ecosystems

Considering the multi-scale impacts of climate change on Arctic and Antarctic marine habitats and the simultaneous increase in human activities - oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, maritime cruise activities in the Antarctic - there is a critical need for reference data to understand and anticipate the loss of polar biodiversity.

The ivory gull is probably the first species to disappear in the Arctic
28 000
billion tonnes of ice lost in the past 23 years
252 B
Tonnes of ice mass lost each year in Antarctica
Everyday bigger icebergs detach from Antarctica ice pack. In March 2021, the largest iceberg in the world, 4320km2, broke off Antarctica.
Arctic pinguins

Monitoring hundreds of kilometers of Arctic and Antarctic coastlines

Listen to the Poles aims at monitoring the polar marine biodiversity in response to global climate change, in particular in how it modifies the migratory behaviour of key species, as well as identifying the effects of noise pollution associated with the increase of human activities. This mission is framed in the first bioacoustic expedition to the Poles that will sense biodiversity through the analysis of its underwater sounds by standalone buoys, over hundreds of kilometers taking advantage of the properties of sound propagation in water.

Acoustic observatories in the Arctic and Antarctica
100 km2
Covered by each buoy
Species of marine mammals acoustically monitored in the Poles
Sound propagates in water five times faster than in the air and reaches hundreds of kilometers from the source
The operation of deploying and retrieving the buoys requires complex infrastructures
The processed data from the buoys is transmitted in real-time to the internet

This initiative is supported by: