Societal, political, and scientific challenges are converging in the Arctic as temperatures rise, sea ice and glaciers retreat, and permafrost thaws. There remains an urgent need to document, understand and to respond to the causes of changes to the Arctic environment. Given the inability of the world’s carbon-intensive societies to significantly reduce their emissions in the near future, there is an urgent need for Arctic communities to consider how they may need to adapt to a warming planet while at the same time looking for whether there might be synergies for social or economic transformation within these ongoing shifts in the international community.
In this session, we will address this urgency and seek to bring together experts concerned with understanding Arctic climate change and its impacts on communities alongside individuals focused on questions of adaptation and political, sociocultural, environmental, and economic transformations related to a changing Arctic. We are interested in both issues that are relevant at a pan-Arctic scale, local case studies, especially those from which lessons can be scaled up or down and cross disciplinary solutions for a sustainable development. One key case study for which we are eager to see examples highlighted is Svalbard – for instance, whether local climate change and adaptation strategies pursued there can be applied in other Arctic communities.
Key questions driving this session are: What are the key climatic and environmental impacts currently facing Arctic communities? What are their causes? How do these impacts manifest across a range of scales, from the local to the pan-Arctic, and how do they also interact with global processes? What strategies can be realistically implemented in the short term to encourage relatively immediate societal and infrastructure adaptation? Over the longer-term, as societies transform, are there adaptation strategies or technological solutions that could lead to new economic opportunities or job creation?
From this point of departure, we invited submissions addressing the above topics and other questions such as:
Mia Bennett, The University of Hong Kong (co-lead)
Jostein Bakke, University of Bergen, Norway (co-lead)
Jessica Graybill, Colgate University, USA
Ketil Isaksen, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway
Ingrid Medby, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Andrey Petrov, University of Northern Iowa, USA
Peter Schweitzer, University of Vienna, Austria
The Arctic Frontiers secretariat is hosted by Akvaplan-niva located at the Fram Centre in Tromsø, Norway. The secretariat is responsible for day to day operations and for the organisation of the annual conference, and reports to the steering committee.
The secretariat is led by Ole Øvretveit.