Climate change is progressing fast, especially in the polar regions. In recent decades, the Arctic has warmed twice to three times as fast as the rest of the world. This may have a greater impact on the climate in Europe than previously thought. To understand the local, regional, and global consequences, it is important to investigate the processes underlying the changes in the polar regions. Effective, internationally coordinated polar research is an indispensable prerequisite for this. Important topics from the German research agenda “Polar Regions in Transition” are presented below.