There has been increasing dissatisfaction with the way Arctic-wide cooperation under the Arctic Council operates. Scholars and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have taken up the idea of finding a new direction for the work of the Council by drawing on the experience of the other pole, the Antarctic, and its well-established structures of governance. At first sight, this may seem like a misdirected idea, given that the two poles show more differences than similarities: the Arctic consists of ocean surrounded by continents, whereas the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by ocean; the Antarctic has no permanent human habitation, while the Arctic is inhabited by indigenous peoples and other local communities. Yet, the two polar areas also resemble each other in many respects. Both have extreme climatic conditions, receiving less radiation from the sun than other parts of the globe, and the ecosystems have had to adapt to very cold and dark environments with short and light-filled growing seasons. In such conditions, the ecosystems are simple, containing only a few key species, and are thus more vulnerable to human-induced pollution than those of more temperate areas.