How many times have you seen statements similar to the following: “Antarctica is a global barometer”, “Antarctica is a warning beacon for global change”, or “Antarctica is a warning beacon for global change”, or “Antarctica is the most sensitive continent to climate change”? The frequency of such statements in this, and other polar journals, is significant. We know that the polar regions are highly sensitive to natural and human induced changes that originate elsewhere on our planet, and the literature is extensive and growing. At the large scale there is increasing evidence of both direct and indirect linkages between climate patterns (e.g. ENSO) in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and Antarctic climate. At a smaller scale are the follow-on linkages to glacier dynamics, including surface melt, glacier stream flows, lake levels, beaches, sea-ice dynamics and ice tongues. All of these have major repercussions on Antarctic ecosystems. The phase change from water (liquid) to ice (solid) occurs over avery small temperature range (depending on salinity, pressure etc). Thus, for a pond ecosystem, a change in temperature of less than one degree Celsius means the difference between a functioning aquatic ecosystem, and a frozen ecosystem. The recent IPCC report (Climate Change 2001 [3 vols], Cambridge University Press) leaves little doubt of the significant changes to world climate now taking place. As Antarctic scientists we surely must therefore consider that the principal issue to be addressed in Antarctica at present is that of “Responses to a changing climate”.