The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a high-level biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems. The AOS provides a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of Arctic observing across all components of the Arctic system. It fosters international communication on and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding of and response and adaptation to system-scale Arctic change. It is an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination of and exchange among researchers, Indigenous organizations, the public, private and not-for profit sectors and all others involved or interested in the Arctic. The AOS is a contribution to the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative.