The Arctic Ocean sits at the north pole. Once covered in ice, the drastic changes in climate in the Fifth World have left it a warm, open ocean. It forms shores on the northern edges of Eurasia and North America, and meets the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
In the days of civilization, very few people lived above the Arctic Circle, but most of the human population did live in the northern hemisphere. As the climate changed and more and more people became climate refugees, people retreated ever closer to the nearest pole, and for most people, that meant the north pole. In the Fifth World, the shores of the Arctic Ocean have become the most densely-populated areas in the world, with the most complex societies. The Arctic Ocean has become a hub of trade, playing a role similar to that played by the Mediterranean for certain ancient civilizations.
Indigenous circumpolar peoples had an outsized influence on the culture of the Arctic Circle. Though many such groups struggled to deal with their own processes of decolonization and adapting to climate change, they nonetheless had a head start in their relationship to the changing land, and those climate refugees who heeded their advice had a far better chance of surviving. The relationships between these indigenous societies and the newcomers, of course, run the entire gamut of possibilities. Those who expressed outright hostility tended to also experience trouble surviving, but the people found in the Arctic of the Fifth World include the original indigenous peoples, groups descended from indigenous people and climate refugees who blended fully but conceive of themselves as indigenous, people who blended fully and conceive of themselves as blended, people who blended fully and conceive of themselves as immigrants, and groups that mostly descend from climate refugees but have found their culture deeply influenced and informed by indigenous circumpolar communities, who hold a special and honored place in their traditions.
As the final home of so many refugee populations from across the northern hemisphere, the peoples of the Arctic Ocean also blend an enormous variety and diversity of traditions, from the Hispanic cultures of the American southwest, to Han Chinese culture, to the many, varied cultures of old India.